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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Sep
Sounds like … John Reuben or tobyMac gone the remix route, which means hip-hop with splashes of pop, rock and other influences. At a glance … in this above-average remix collection, KJ-52 goes the extra mile in making these interpretations sound fresher than everTrack Listing Fivetweezy (Disco Mania Remix) Revenge of the Nerds (Horns A Plenty Remix) Dear Slim Pt. 2 (True Story Remix) 47 Emcees (Plus 18 More Remix) I Can Call on You (Piano Love Remix) Are You Real? (Oregon Trail Remix) Jesus (Reggaeton Remix) Plain White Rapper (Kalimba Remix) Rock With It (Eat to the Beat Lunch Remix) Mullet Pride (Country Krunk Remix) For the Ladies (Soulvibe Remix) Things I Like (Timbojones Remix) Washed Up (Dbl. Time Remix) Run for Cover Napoleon Dynamite

About time KJ-52 got himself a stylist! The rapper—who typically sports a grubby look of jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt in previous publicity images—looks rather dapper on the album cover and accompanying shots of Remixed, as if he's at a whole new level of chic and sophistication. Didn't GRITS look equally fashionable in the photo shoot for Dichotomy A and Dichotomy B? Better imaging is certainly the first impression one gets from this new set of remixes from the bestselling solo rapper, a distinction that also translates to the quality of these retooled tracks.

Remix albums are characteristically cheap attempts at making a quick buck, hastily put together in order to maximize profit with little overhead cost. The same may be true of Remixed, especially since the bulk of the project was re-imagined and reworked by KJ-52 himself, with little outside contributions. But unlike most efforts of this nature, Remixed goes beyond the call of duty in that KJ didn't just make a new beat for a particular song and called it a day. In some instances, he actually cut new vocals, added verses and messed with the mood and vibe of the song altogether in order to truly make it something different.

That's the case with the True Story remix of the hit "Dear Slim Pt. 2," where the song is stripped of its pop undercurrent and given a more somber, meditative feel, accentuated by new lyrics and a narrative delivered during the musical interludes. Or the creative Plus 18 More remix of "47 Emcees," where the rapper switches rap styles effortlessly and namedrops 18 additional rappers to his existing Who's Who list. Or the showstopper of the bunch, the Reggaeton remix of "Jesus," which reconstructs the song from the ground up to make it into an infectious anthem featuring Spanish mic-rocker Funky. It's an exercise in versatility that proves there's more to KJ-52 than meets the eye.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.