Here’s a 2000s take on the fantastic Nas/Lauryn Hill anthem, recorded for the “Smirnoff Signature Mix Series”, for those not in the know, here’s an extract from the official blurb for last years’ campaign, explaining the concept:
“Beginning this month, the makers of Smirnoff vodka are launching an exciting new Smirnoff Signature Mix Series, a campaign pairing three acclaimed rappers with contemporary beat- maestros to create new versions of iconic hip-hop songs. Nationally renowned artists Common, Q-Tip, and KRS-One are joining musical forces with Just Blaze, Cool & Dre, and DJ Premier to remix Common’s “The Light,” A Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight,” and Boogie Down Productions’ seminal “Criminal Minded.””
The track is banging and really lives up to the original despite the mammoth task of trying to re-record such a rap anthem, the production by Sons Of Light (with scratches by Brian Delaney) is on point with its classic hip hop drums and electronic beeps and the take they went on with Nas’ current situation compared to him imagining “ruling the world” way back when is also creative in that they didn’t just re-record the original lyrics. Marsha’s voice as always also sounds beautiful and her arrangements are awesome. (I wish they’d get this girl’s damn album out, WAY overdue!) I’m glad Smirnoff are bringing mainstream focus back to more conscious, creative rap music..