Big Z Remixes
Fresh out the oven – Big Z Remixes just released his new mixtape, Can’t Get Enough. Get it while it’s hot!
2. Can’t Get Enough (feat. J. Cole)
3. Straight Cash (feat. Asher Roth)
4. Beast Mode (feat. B.o.B.)
5. Work Out (feat. J. Cole)
6. Brand New (feat. Rhymefest & Kanye West)
7. Diamonds (feat. Kanye West)
8. Success (feat. Jay-Z & Nas)
9. Work Hard, Play Hard (feat. Kay)
10. Radioactive (feat. Marina & The Diamonds)
11. Supernova (feat. Mr. Hudson)
12. Fade Into Darkness (Avicii Remix)
Big Z (aka Zack Caraher) is back with another track. Like his last release, Big Z has taken a step away from his previous hip hop remixes, getting his feet wet in more electronic territory. Ooh dangerous! Check it out:
Never thought I’d be posting Britney Spears on Sunset. Then again, never thought I’d be writing on Sunset in the first place. Whoo!
Anyways, I’m a huge Big Z Remixes fan. His hip-hop remixes are ultra dope and right up my alley, and I love them all. This is, I think, his first electronic remix, so have a listen. I’m looking forward to more from him.
It’s another Thursday, so I hope y’all are thirsty for a little throwback. Today’s TT is continuation of the story I posted last week — how music forever entangled itself within my life, how my music tastes evolved, and I how I ended up listening to what I do. We left off somewhere around the end my high school years, when I left Texas for bigger and badder adventures in the wild wild west…
When I think of the summer after my first year in college, in terms of music, I think of the Cambrian Explosion — when out of the blue, like, 600 million years ago, life decided to diversify like crazy and start being badass. I was working in Beijing and studying Chinese (long story), and I was living with some friends from other California colleges. One of them, my friend Supallav, was a total hip hop snob and connoisseur. I was not. I didn’t know shit about hip hop, top 40 or otherwise. I never thought poorly of hip hop, and I certainly wasn’t one of those guys to ignorantly bag on it — I just didn’t know where to start, and I knew it.
So I asked my friend to give me some of his albums for me to listen to, and he basically sat me down, laughing, and told me he was going to do it the right way. He began introducing me to all the greats and legends one by one, an album a day, and at the same time he’d let me in on their stories, histories, philosophies, controversies and the works. I had an hour commute to and from work everyday. I spent the entire summer walking and riding the Beijing subways to Jay-Z, B.I.G, Nas, Wu-Tang, Lil-Wayne, Eminem, 2pac, Dr. Dre, and on and on. I couldn’t get enough of it. He’d make me listen to all the old school records, something I don’t think I ever would have listened to without him pushing me. I remember standing in crowded ass subways listening to 2pac’s All Eyez on Me or GZA’s Liquid Swords. The first Jay-Z album I heard was Reasonable Doubt. I remember exactly where I was walking the first time Juicy came on when I first listened to Ready to Die. I had no idea how famous that song was, and when I came back to the apartment that night telling my friend how awesome it was, he just sighed and shook his head. Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Common, The Roots, Dead Prez, Blu. It was SO good. Kanye and Lupe Fiasco. Every once in a while I’d come back to our apartment, complaining that some of the old school music sounded dated — he’d then play the song on his computer, and break it down for me line by line until I was forced to admit that these guys were clever as hell.
The first song I want to share is D’Evils, from Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt. Another one of those songs were I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard it. A super powerful song about friendship and competition between two friends who grew up together — how life hustling on the streets can infect, corrupt, and poison the mind. Look up the lyrics to this song and take your time.
We used to fight for building blocks/now we fight for blocks with buildings that make a killin/The closest friends when we first started/But grew apart as the money grew, and soon grew black-hearted/Thinkin’ back when we first learned to use rubbers/He never learned so in turn I’m kidnappin’ his baby’s mother
MP3: “D’evils” – Jay-z
Hidden Bonus Track on Johnson&Jonson’s self titled album (Blu and producer Mainframe). If you’ve never heard of Blu, get on it. There’s something so real and honest and youthful about him, something that very few hip hop artists seem to touch. It’s hard to put a finger on, but I think this song does him justice. That John Lennon sample…so good!
Old School, from 2pac’s Me Against the World. Ok so I admit it, I threw this one in because it is, after all, throwback thursday. But a great song nonetheless.
MP3: “Old School” – 2Pac
The year after I discovered hip hop, I became a music blog addict. Like friends and the outdoors, music can reinvigorate life like nothing else can, and especially new music. I discovered Blind Pilot and Bon Iver around this time…oh my. Those two guys helped me through one of the toughest times of my life. And Andrew Bird. Don’t get me started on Andrew Bird.
A little while later, I heard Chiddy Bang’s Swelly Express for the first time. A couple weeks later they came to play at my school. I was front row, fist-bumping Chiddy:
I was still happily discovering all the amazing hip-hop in my iTunes that my boy Supallav had introduced me to, but for the first time I was also stumbling on mashups. Do you guys remember when the Notorious XX album came out, the mashup between The XX and the Notorious B.I.G.? Amazing. I was coming across so many DJs, so many mixes… I was in heaven. Some of my favorite indie-rock songs fused with hip hop raps and beats, or with dubstep lines or electronic melodies. I found Big Z Remixes on Sunset maybe a little less than a year ago. All I could think was, holy shit, this guy is so young but his music is SO good.
Here I am a year later, still uncovering incredible music…some new and some that’s been out for ages. And as I move forward with my life, musically and otherwise, I’m just trying to take it all in and shut nothing out. You never know what you’re missing.
I’m resisting the urge to post Bon Iver’s re: Stacks. I’m sure you’ve all heard it before, and if not, it’s on Sunset’s Flying Through Summer mixtape. But..of course, of course I’m posting an Andrew Bird song. Actually, to be embarrassingly honest, I’m actually wearing an Andrew Bird shirt as I write this…I swear I’m not creepy. He’s an amazing artist, and he does everything by himself (even live!) using looped tracks he makes on the spot. It’s nuts. Here’s Plasticities, from Armchair Apocrypha.
My favorite Big Z Remix song, Slow Down (feat. Lupe Fiasco and Mos Def), with a beautiful sample of Nico’s These Days. The song is soft and melodic and wise and powerful, with great verses from Lupe and Mos Def. Mos Def’s verse comes his song Priority, from The Ecstatic. It’s a one verse song, but with a totally different feel.
Save Me Concubine (Ghostface Killah vs. Beirut), TheHoodInternet remix. I’ve listened to this song hundreds of times. Ghostface is a hard dude, but this story is surprisingly touching and sentimental. It was on repeat during another tough time for me.
Finally, here’s an Arcade Fire cover I stumbled across some weeks back, by Mr. Little Jeans. One of the best covers I’ve ever heard. This girl’s voice is gorgeous, and it fits perfectly over the dreamlike dubstep coatings.
If you had to pick 5 or 10 songs to represent the history of your musical discovery, what would you choose? Treacherous, huh?
Private planes. Dom Perignon at 30,000 feet. Aston Martins, Bugattis, McLarens, Ferraris, and Bentleys. Gucci loafers. Damier print. Welcome to the life. Wealth. Class. #Jets
Curren$y is the ringleader of the #Jets crew, kind of like Wiz has the Taylor Gang. His swag is effortless, his flow is crisp, and this is perfect to listen to when you’re just running things like a boss. Hit the jump for the full tracklist and download link.
“Michael Knight” – Curren$y
Lames catch feelings, we catch jets. Jets, fool.
“We Back Soon” – Lil Wayne
Sittin’ in a Ferrari, thinkin’ bout money/ I swear I will go head up with all o’ y’all/ Bumper cars
One of my favorite Sam Adams tracks, this one has some great rhymes from Sam and has that trademark Spitta flow on it. Great collaboration between Curren$y and sam right here.
“Fly Jets Over Boston” – Sam Adams feat. Curren$y
I’m the three white keys in C, you a minor/ Knew my shit banged when my music hit the highways/ Found out that hardwork pays off, like Fridays
Truth be told, Chip’s flow might very well be my favorite flow in the game right now. Not saying he’s my favorite rapper, but the dude flows like a goddamn faucet.
“Movie” – Chip Tha Ripper
Dog my life is like movie/ All of the cars and places we are/ All my girls look like dem girls off in the movies
“Final Hour” – Big Sean
Catch me runnin’ to the money/ Until my feet lose feelin’/ Stack it wall to wall till it’s leakin’ through the ceilin”
When Lil Wayne does a song called “Bill Gates,” you know it’s going to be about serious skrills.
“Bill Gates” – Lil Wayne
Polo Ralph Lauren bitch/ That’s what my pajamas say/ Big tall glass of some shit you can’t pronunciate
“Glass House” feat. Curren$y and Big Kritt – Wiz Khalifa
One of the dopest/ I’m schedule 1 you just ibuprofen
The entire album that this next track is off of, “The Crash Album” by DJ Moondance, is one of the best mashup albums I’ve ever heard. He doesn’t just mash track A and B, rather he takes elements from each song and puts them together. This is my favorite cut off of the album. Effortless swag.
“All-American Party” – DJ Moondance
Brushin’ off my three piece/ I make this look too easy/ So tall and lanky/ My suit, it should thank me/ I make it look good to be this hood/ Meyer Lansky mixed with Lucky Lefty/ Gangster, effortlessly/ Poppa was a rolling stone-its in my ancestry
“King Kong” – Curren$y
Fuck around get popped like a collar/ For slippin’ in my city get bitten, chewed, swallowed/ Fool, what you think you like me?/ Your idol and your rival I be
“Gossip” – Lil Wayne
Stop analyzing, criticizing/ You should realize what I am and start epitomizing/ Legitimate I got the heart of the biggest lion
Chuck Inglish productions are always dope, and with three of the slickest flows over this one, you know it’s going to be nuts. Extra crispy flow from Chip, Spitta, and Sean on this.
“Fat Raps” feat. Curren$y and Big Sean – Chip tha Ripper
Your girl show me L-O-V-E/ I drop the O, and the E/ And just took the LV/ That’s Louis Vuitton luggage every time you see my passport/ Damier print, got me lookin’ like a chess board
“Cool Head” feat. Kid Cudi – Travis Barker
I’m in my own world/ Literally, no bullshit baby
“We Major” ft. Kanye West and Nas – Big Z Remixes
Turn nothin’ to something now pimpin’ that’s the Savior/ Best things are green now pimpin’ get your paper/ High off the ground, our status skyscraper
I’m very on and off with Wale. Absolutely hated his last album, but I am definitely a fan of his ability to flow, which is really accentuated on this track. Plus, I love Aston Martins, so swag.
“Aston Martin Music” – Wale
My garments shouldn’t be here, I’m somewhere near the future/ As far as being hard, I feel I’m somewhere near Medusa
“She Said” – Mac Miller
Ayo my herb smoke tastin’ like a Nerds rope/ Imma get rich so I can buy my bitch a fur coat/ Something like a millionaire in training/ Still my shit amazing
”The Number Won Competition” – Wale
Fuck it we on the move/ None of us tryin’ to lose/ I am out of this world/ and you a man on the moon
I was stoked when I first heard this track because I was already a big fan of the song “Walking on a Dream” by Empire Sun. That combined with Wiz, I knew it was going to be dope.
“The Thrill” – Wiz Khalifa
Wake up drunk, go to sleep fucked up
Just some classic, heavy hitting, laid back Lil Weezy. Nothing’s better.
“Lighting Up My Lalala” – Lil Wayne
It’s, Little Wayne Imma shine in the rain/ Now nothing gets cleared without me signing my name/ I’m just, headlining the game/ Won’t stop till I’m/ A Rodding the game, they riding the bench
“Feel Good” – Chip tha Ripper
If you tryna fuck wit me then you better have some commas/ I be wit them OGs i’m probably stuntin wit yo fathaaa
One of my favorite Jay-Z classics with some of that tight Ratatat vibe, all around great track.
“Allure (Jay-Z & Notorious B.I.G.)” – Ratatat
The allure of breaking the law/ Was always too much for me to ever ignore/ I got a thing for them big body Benzes/ Indulge my senses/ In love with a V-Dub engine
Dream Big, Swag Out
I’m still in a hangover from the Best Day Ever, and the fralbum is all I’ve been listening to recently. Last night, Big Z hit me up about this new remix of Mac’s final track on the fralbum, “BDE Bonus.”
I didn’t make the beat or anything, I just added a Biggie verse and a couple synth parts
Regardless of how similar it is to the original, I really like the Biggie verse that Z chose to use, and the addition of Z’s piano riff is understated and adds a really nice quality to the song.
If you have yet to see my full review of Best Day Ever, you should definitely head over to this post and read up. This is a quick excerpt, from my review of the original BDE Bonus track.
“I immediately recognize the opening sound from the intro of the “Donald Trump” video. This is some of my favorite production on the tape, and I would listen to this a lot even if it were just an instrumental. Really awesome vibe to it. It has the same acapella from Best Day Ever, and it makes me wonder how they chose which one would be a bonus and which one would be on the tape. I know that I would have had a really difficult time deciding, because I absolutely love both versions. This is an immediate standout to me. Shout out to ID Labs for killing it on this tape.
I ain’t just an average Joe/ Way above the average flow/ Boy my life is Most Dope
Big Z Remixes || Facebook
Two Big Z songs in less than 24 hours on Sunset? I love it. This one features a Sunset favorite, Fortune Family, it has a really mellow vibe to it, and Big Z made an interesting decision to switch up the order of the verses, dropping Oncue’s first, Hop’s verse 2nd, and then Reef’s verse. With a nice introductory piano riff followed by some bass and a great horn section, Big Z puts a really unique twist on this one and it sounds great.
This has gotta be up there with my ‘Slow Down’ and ‘We Major’ as my favorite Big Z Remixes remixes. Lydia says remixes are like PB&J sandwiches: I’ll make a different metaphor.
Remixes are like that moment when you were a little kid and had multitudes of ice cream flavors lined up in front of you along with a smorgasbord of toppings. You want some cookie dough? Toss that in there. Cookies and cream? Do it big. Chocolate sauce? Yup. Sprinkles? Yes. Rainbow sprinkles? Chocolate sprinkles? Hell, all of the sprinkles, toss ‘em on there. Now imagine that the acapella from the original is vanilla ice cream. Sure, tasty in its own right, absolutely. Well, this is a damn good ice cream sundae from Big Z. Enjoy. Be sure to like Big Z Remixes’ BRAND NEW FACEBOOK FANPAGE. Do it.
We’ve been holding down Zach Caraher, aka Big Z Remixes, on Sunset in the Rearview since day one. We first heard from Big Z back in February of 2010 when he sent us the song “Blue Magic” and immediately knew this guy was for real. We’ve followed his progress since then, which eventually led to an exclusive release of his mixtape Slow Down. Today, we’re eagerly awaiting March 15th, when he will be dropping his new mixtape, Never Change.
Yesterday, Big Z released a new single off of the upcoming album, a remix of Kanye and Common’s classic “Get ‘Em High.” Ratatat did a great version as well, and Big Z really puts a unique twist on this acapella, and I am a big fan of his version.
I’m extremely excited for ‘Never Change’ to drop in just under two weeks, and you all should be too. Big Z never disappoints.
Big Z Remixes || Facebook
Twitter || D Prep
So Big Z has some good news-his new mixtape “Never Change” will drop on March 15th. I’ve been a huge Big Z fan since I first hear him: he has a unique ability to take hip-hop acapellas and turn them into something completely new. Often, he can take a great rap acapella and turn it into easy listening music, such as “Slow Down” with Lupe Fiasco. Other times, he can turn mean acapellas into even meaner songs, such as “We Major” with Kanye West.
Any way you look at it, Zach Caraher aka Big Z is a really talented producer with a unique, on point style. I always get excited to hear new material from him, and he certainly delivers with this Jay-Z remix. Get excited for his album, it will be great, no doubt about it. Also, great artwork from Adam Kalilula, a great artist in his own right.
Big Z Remixes || Facebook
Sunset in the Rearview was recently listed as one of the Top 100 Indie Music Blogs on the internet, and when I was asked to answer a few questions about why people should listen to independent music, I mentioned the creativity that the indie scene allows. What I forgot to mention in this regard, though, is how entrepreneurial the independent music scene is. There are opportunities every day in the indie world that, through campaigns born from creativity, allow for your everyday person to go knocking on the door of some serious tastemakers in music. Here’s a perfect example of that.
Asher Roth recently put up an acapella on his Facebook page, calling for any producer who wishes to participate to make an original beat for the song. The chosen winner than gets to be on Asher’s next project. That’s pretty incredible, if you think about it.
To no surprise of mine, Big Z Remixes has submitted a beat. This song carries the typical low-key vibe that Big Z has claimed as his own, and it sounds quite nice under Asher’s lyricism. The sample is “Sometime” by The Noisettes.
The one thing I wish for from Big Z is a bit more variety, but I’ll say – this kid is young. He’s got the whole world ahead of him. So much time, so much room to explore. I’m just anxious to see that happen.
“Classic (ft. Kanye West & Nas) – Big Z Remixes
Big Z Remixes is back with…yet again…another wonderful track. I cannot get enough of this kid’s music. It blows my mind every time that he’s just a high schooler, challenging the big dogs like Kanye and Nas and turning their music into something totally different and often times more enjoyable than the original. Big Z needs to become a producer. In fact, G.O.O.D. Music needs to sign Big Z. That’s what really needs to happen, huh?
Have you ever found an amazing pair of jeans…only to realize that these gems might just look better as jorts? So you proceeded to cut them up, putting your own style into them, perhaps fraying the edges just as you’d like them to look. And somehow, they come out perfectly. The originals were awesome, but you created a beautiful new look that others can only manage to stop and notice. Like, ‘Damn, I gotta get me some of those.’ Your handmade jorts are THAT great.
Alright, so maybe not all of us can relate to this. This is coming from a girl’s perspective, and unless you live in Cali or are a hipster dude, you might not get the reference. So if you haven’t had that experience, it’s okay. But don’t lose hope! It may someday come to be! For now, though, I’ve got the perfect alternative. I, as part of Sunset in the Rearview, hereby present to you: Big Z Remixes. Just like that perfect pair of jeans-turned-jorts, Big Z has taken a collection of masterful hip hop in his new album, Slow Down, cut it up, put his own spin on it, and sure enough, created a tour de force in its own.
After falling in love with his past work, I wasn’t sure Big Z’s sound could get much better. But sure enough, in the time he took off to create the latest album, Big Z went back to the drawing board and took an exacto knife to the edges, adding touches of genius production and gentle instrumentals to an already fine-tuned sound, and he ended up with a miraculous piece of art. If the artists on this album (who include Tupac, Kurupt, Lupe Fiasco, Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West, Nas and more) could hear how Big Z has combined their vocals with his melodious instrumentals, I have a strong feeling that they would first do a dubious and quick double-take, but soon after would be pleasantly surprised at just how good they sound on these new tracks.
So alas—all pregamers, stoners, hipsters, gym-rats, hoodrats, eager listeners seeking to find the appeal of hip hop, and kids stuck in the library wishing that rap music wasn’t so damn hard to study to: we can at last unite! The day has come when all of preferred styles have been paired and tailored to match. So whether you prefer jorts, sweatpants, leggings, gym-shorts, or maybe ripped up cargo-pants, we’re in for good luck, for it seems this right here is one-size-fits-all.