Shitty song, terrible idea. I get depressed thinking that the last time Timbo and Busta did a track together was probably some awesome Missy album track, but now they're both creatively (if not commercially) washed up, humorless steroid abusers.
Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: D
"Dey Know (Remix)" by Shawty Lo featuring Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Plies and Lil Wayne
I kinda neglected to put this in the previous remix report cards, since the remix was out already late last year by the time the original version of the song was breaking nationally, but I should really include it now for posterity. Between this and "Umma Do Me," I'm really kinda losing my faith in the skreets of Atlanta to pick a big grassroots hit that's actually fun or impressive on any level. Shawty has one of the worst voices I've ever heard, and the beat really ain't all that. Luda and Jeezy kill it, though, and I'm on the fence about the Lil Wayne verse, which is from the initial spate of T-Wayne verses he dropped after first getting his hands on Autotune, and features some of the most obnoxious audibly-grinning-at-his-own-lame-punchline couplets he's dropped in the past year.
Best Verse: Young Jeezy
Overall Grade: B
"Feedback (Timbaland Remix)" by Janet Jackson
Timbaland paints over the Rodney Jerkins original, and it's of course less bland, but is still constricted by essentially a pretty lousy song. That unofficial remix with Ciara does a much better job of actually making it halfway listenable.
Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: C
"Ghetto Rich (Remix)" by Rich Boy f/ Lil Wayne, Nas and John Legend
Rich Boy did what every rapper who's initially tied to just one big single should do: keep working the album even if the next two singles aren't big hits and the label doesn't want to put anymore money into it, shoot a video for one of its deepest songs, and put together an all-star remix for another. I was never real into this song on the album, but Nas at least sounds like he fits on this beat, unlike Rich Boy and Wayne.
Best Verse: Nas
Overall Grade: C+
"Like You'll Never See Me Again (Remix)" by Alicia Keys featuring Ludacris
Very much in the same mold as the "Apologize" remix with a guest verse expert weirdly trying to work their magic on a ballad that just didn't need a remix, but this one actually kind of works. The original version of this was so pillowy and soft and emotional that it never once occurred to me that a rapper could ride that beat until I heard Luda on it. And for some reason, I don't totally mind the rare occasions when Luda does something sappy like this, it's not really in his comfort zone but he doesn't embarrass himself and he gets some nice patterns in there. Still kind of unnecessary and forgettable, though.
Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: B-
"Just Fine (Treat 'Em Right Remix)" by Mary J. Blige f/ Lil Wayne, Precise and Swizz Beatz
Finally, the first serious contender for remix of the year, or one of them, at least. Great song, great remixer, great choice of throwback beat to recycle on his part (although as great as the "Tream 'Em Right" jack is, I kinda feel like Swizz could've just as easily stayed in the same era/vibe and used the "Eye Know" beat, since everyone already things "Just Fine" sounds like "Peg"), and a great if obvious guest MC choice. Don't know who the random unknown female rapper on this is, but she's pretty decent even if she can't help but get outshined by Wayne, who starts out stuck with his usual tics but eventually gets something great out of it. This originally leaked with just the new beat and no rappers on it, and I wondered aloud on Idolator if Mary's camp briefly considered just doing the remix w/o Wayne because of his arrest that same weekend, and judging from a remix he gave this week it sounds like that actually is what happened, whether he dramatically posted bail and then recorded the verse that day like in my imagination, or had turned in before that.
Best Verse: Lil Wayne
Overall Grade: A-