Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings
Last week, rising R&B star Miguel released his sophomore set Kaleidoscope Dream, an impressive collection of of distorted soul set atop hazy rhythms. It’s a festive and contemplative affair on which the Los Angeles-born singer ponders a range of topics like hallucinogens (“Do you like drugs?” he asks on “Do You…”) and the amount of drinks it takes to commit to a one-night stand. The sound is part-soul/part-dance, and one of the year’s more refreshing projects. It appears we’re not the only ones digging Miguel’s music; over the last few years, producers far and wide have remixed his work. Here are the best Miguel remixes we could find that cull from both Kaleidoscope Dream and his 2010 debut, All I Want Is You.
1. “Adorn (Ted Smooth Remix)”
If you were born before 1990, you’re probably familiar with this beat, its Biggie one-liners, and the first rapper you hear on this track. Featuring an appearance from Diddy -- the Remix King, himself -- the reconfigured version of “Adorn” is an unofficial ode to the Notorious B.I.G., from its scratchy sample of “Get Money” to its splice of the rapper’s gritty “Kick in the Door” song. “Ain’t nothin’ like a Bad Boy remix,” Diddy proclaims on the song. Can’t argue that.
2. “Pussy is Mine (Remix)”
Well, you certainly can’t knock Miguel’s confidence. On this version, the singer’s vocals are filtered with a dreamy distortion that makes this version way too seedy for G-rated audiences. That makes it a must-hear.
3. “Quickie Remix (Miguel in Paris dubstep)”
Quality mash-ups are tricky things to pull off, especially when you’re blending one of the industry’s brightest young singers with arguably the most popular song of the past year. But that’s what DJ Total Package did here, fusing Miguel’s “Quickie” with Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “N**gas in Paris.” The results are woozy and a bit unconventional, but it works somehow.
4. “Sure Thing (Remix)”
This song is one of the more popular Miguel songs to remix and on this version, the singer rides quickened drum programming for an upbeat blend of bouncy electronica. Think vintage Prince, circa 1988.
5. “Hard Way (Remix)”
Carried by a driving rhythm and Miguel’s ambient wails, this song is hard-edged hip-hop with an R & B undertone. It’s more straightforward than other Miguel tracks — the lyrics aren’t overly insightful, but they’re still earnest. Then again, Miguel bemoans heartbreak here, so we’ll give him a pass on clarity.
Kaleidoscope Dream is out now on RCA.