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Rae Sremmurd – Black Beatles (Madsonik Remix)

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You know that weird, slightly disorienting feeling you get when you’re listening to a live version of an old favorite song, where it’s basically familiar but with a few tweaks here and there? Like perhaps you’re listening to some bar band covering ‘No Woman No Cry’ and they change ‘I remember when we used to sit, in a government yard, in Trenchtown’ to a government yard in whatever town you happen to be in? I experienced that in a most disorienting and extreme manner the other night while scavenging the vast Spofity soundscape jungle. After hearing a pretty epic and dark remix of Black Beatles by Eric Dingus on one of his mixes on Soundcloud, I had a hankering to hear the original again. Now let’s be honest, Black Beatles was an awesome song but by the end of last year it had started to get a little played out, through no fault of Rae Sremmurd’s own, but because of its ubiquity on radio and well basically every type of media.

To my somewhat pleasant surprise, I saw that there was a new remix of it from February called the ‘Madsonik’ remix. Now not being very well-versed in the world of electronic music your humble writer had no idea what to expect. At first blush I was pretty hyped up to be listening to basically a ‘rock’ remake of Black Beatles with some hard rock guitars and pounding percussion added in. My andrenaline was on max. I quickly hit the replay button and turned the volume up. As I listened to it again, I was still equally andrenalized by it, but something seemed a bit off or different to me. “Wait weren’t they rapping about ‘cream seats in the Regal’ in the original, why are they saying ‘camo seats in the Regal’ now? And why did he just change spread eagle to desert eagle?” Something was amiss. By the time I was rocking out to it for a third time I was saying to myself “Alright, I was pretty sure he never said anything about looking through the scope and not blinking but questioning why he’s here in the original, but there’s no way in HELL that he said ‘Gold Tiger’s near, there’s no retreating.’ What the hell is a Gold Tiger anyway? This final catalyst finally caused me to do some googling and I finally stumbled across the answer here  … 

“Although it is an undeniable banger, the “Black Beatles” remix is a pretty unusually track. The thundering beat provided by Madsonik is an ideal soundtrack for lushly rendered World War I combat, its lyrics are a different story. Swae Lee’s new hook is surprisingly elegiac, featuring haunting lyrics like “small world, enemies know of me,” and “Gold Tigers near, there’s no retreating” while Slim Jxmmi drops into grimy shout “this is a war, not a drill, baby!”

Pretty unusual indeed. At first, I felt a bit uneasy, almost violated, by the fact that this jam I had been rocking out to for the last few hours was not so much an organic piece of art as it was a corporate creation to promote a video game, and a WWI video game at that. But the more I thought about it, I became okay with it and actually in favor of it. If these enterprising young brothers from Mississippi want to make a couple of extra bucks off of corporate America, who am I to complain? As we all know, Slim Jimmi screams ‘$1500 on my feet I’m tryna kill these haters! (seriously, best part of the song, I just love how amazingly obnoxious and aggressive it is)”  in this one and the original, so the brothers Sremm definitley need some serious cash flow coming in to support those kinds of luxury footwear habits. I’m all for them joining forces with the video community to expand their footprint further than ever; I’d be interested in getting further remixes of No Flex Zone and maybe even No Type tailored to specific games. Alas, since your humble writer is no longer a gamer (mainly since I don’t own a console and am too cheap to buy one) I’ll never experience how Battlefield 1 itself lives up to this hype wave that Rae Sremmurd created for it, but I’ll have to assume it does the song justice.

Just as a side note, I find it so odd that there is a World War 1 themed video game and also that two guys that were born almost 100 years after it ended did a song about it. Did they even have good weapons in World War 1? I just can’t picture it being the most action-packed time period they could have chosen.

And just as one more final side note, while at first glance some might find it lazy or uncommited, I kind of love the fact that rather than changing all of the lyrics to focus on WWI, they basically left most of the lyrics the same but added in a few war-themed lines here and there. So you have lyrics describing various wartime actions mixed in with the standard fare of smoking, drinking, fast cars and faster women, and throwing racks at the club. This just makes the whole scenario even more gloriously strange and haphazard and I for one certainly welcome more video game-infused remakes of chart-topping rap songs because if ‘Black Beatles – Madsonik Remix’ is anything to go by, they go hard AF!