Ever since Drake dropped a verse on Migos’ Summer smash, we’ve been inundated with various “Versace” remixes from nearly every emcee known to man. Now, Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse will become the next ultimate challenge for rappers who’ll take the beat and try to outdo K.Dot. Yet, neither of these are the first times we’ve fallen victim to beat abuse.
Even prior to the Internet era, rappers have always loved to hijack timely instrumentals from other emcees in order to promote themselves or prove their worth. These days, though, with more rappers fighting for their shine every day, the formulaic phenomenon has risen to new heights. Essentially, if you’re lucky enough to have a hit song, be prepared for other people to run your work into the ground.
Whether you still like them or not, here are ten tracks that got reworked a few times too many and now lack the punch they once had after being watered down.
1. Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
After Drizzy spoke of his rise atop producer Mike Zombie’s spacey thump, everyone felt the need to explain how they too turned nothing to something, whether they were entitled to or not.
Known Culprits: Meek Mill, Chris Brown, Wyclef Jean, Machine Gun Kelly, Fat Trel, Yo Gotti, Wiz Khalifa, Astro The Kid & IamSu!
2. Snoop Dogg – “I Wanna Rock”
Of all the classic beats Snoop has spit upon, this Scoop DeVille-produced instrumental is surprisingly the most abused. After dropping in 2010, the Rob Bass-sampling smash was remixed six times by the Doggfather himself and has fallen victim to countless jack moves by an array of artists spanning three decades of Hip-Hop.
Known Culprits: Juelz Santana, Trey Songz, YelaWolf, Slick Rick, Tyga, Lloyd Banks, Joell Ortiz, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Fat Joe, Raekwon, Bun B, Crooked I, Ras Kass & Lil Kim
3. Rick Ross Feat. Styles P – “B.M.F.”
This Big Meech-affiliated banger had a lot going for it in 2010. Aside from helping propel the careers of both Lex Luger & Rick Ross to new heights, the trapped-out trunk rattler changed the landscape of how rap sounded at the time and subsequently had everyone feeling themselves as a result. DJ Khaled, included.
Known Culprits: Lupe Fiasco, Tyga, YelaWolf, Curren$y, Lil Flip, Young Jeezy, Bun B, Fabolous, Yo Gotti, Meek Mill & French Montana
4. Wiz Khalifa – “Black & Yellow”
Saying Wiz himself ran his breakout single into the ground with his remixes and G-Mixes would be fair in its own right. However, by the time Jermaine Dupri managed to get his respective version of the Rolling Papers joint out, we were pretty much over all of them.
Known Culprits: Meek Mill, Wale, Teairra Mari, Tyga, Young Jeezy, Ace Hood, Nu Jerzey Devil, Fabolous, Slim Thug, Lil Wayne, Cris Cab, Donnis, Layzie Bone, Mike Jones
5. Lil Wayne – “A Milli”
Bangladesh turned Hip-Hop on its head with this obnoxiously hot street single from Tha Carter III. Yet, rappers and R&B singers alike still managed to run this one into the ground by constantly trying to outdo one another – despite the original quite possibly being the strongest of them all.
Known Culprits: Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Asher Roth, Lil Mama, Fabolous, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Chris Brown, Corey Gunz, Jadakiss, Peedi Crack, Tyler The Creator & Ne-Yo
6. Jay Z & Alicia Keys – “Empire State Of Mind”
When Jay and Mrs. Beatz delivered what many consider the official theme song of New York City in 2009, everyone and their mother decided to dedicate the piano-based beat to their own hometown. Some were much better than others.
Known Culprits: Snoop Dogg, Lil Mama, Trina, Ro Spit, Pretty Lights & half the Internet
7. Tyga – “Rack City”
The track that took Tyga from underdog to radio staple and made the phrase “Mustard On The Beat Hoe” a regular occurrence in rap had such a simplistic backdrop that budding emcees with something to prove just couldn’t stay away.
Known Culprits: B.o.B., YelaWolf, Honey Cocaine, Lil Twist, Crooked I, Los, Brianna Perry, Trae The Truth, Wale, Charles Hamilton & Vinny From Jersey Shore
8. Rocko Feat. Rick Ross & Future – “U.O.E.N.O.”
After further ruining the hype on his own song by teasing Kanye West would be featured on a remix and then failing to deliver, Rocko’s promo run was extended too far when freestyles from other artists would surface – then wound up recurring in official remixes weeks later.
Known Culprits: Black Hippy, Soulja Boy, Corey Gunz, Lil Wyte, Usher, Kidd Kidd, GIllie The Kid, Joell Ortiz, Troy Ave, Mysonne & Trinidad James
9. Souls Of Mischief – “93 Til Infinity”
Seeing as this breezy, A-Plus-produced classic is questionably the biggest single from the storied Hieroglyphics crew to date, it should surprise no one this choice beat has been recycled by half your favorite artists.
Known Culprits: J Cole, Freddie Gibbs, Big K.R.I.T., Mistah F.A.B., Consequence, Kanye West, Termanology & Pac Div
10. The Throne – “Otis”
For the lead single to his epic Watch The Throne project with Jay-Z, Kanye reached into his minimalistic bag of tricks and pulled out a now noticeable Otis Redding sample and flipped into a simplistic beat that tickled everyone’s freestyle bug – for better or worse.
Known Culprits: Justin Bieber, The Game, Papoose, The LOX, DMX, Busta Rhymes, Ne-Yo, J Cole, Angel Haze, Iggy Azalea, Riff Raff, Cassidy, Skillz, Freeway & Heltah Skeltah