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Preview: Heltah Skeltah Remix EP

by Travis on May 14, 2009

My homie Matt from Coalmine Records sent this over to me, and I thought it was pretty dope, so up it had to go. I’ll let Matt explain the deal….. - Trav

The Midnight Madness Remix EP (Coalmine Records)

I just wanna give yall a brief run down of the history behind this remix. Basically, my entire idea behind doing this record from jump was based off the cult 80s movie “Midnight Madness”. As a kid, this was one of my favorite movies. I thought the concept was just ill- it revolved around an all night scavenger hunt coined “The Great All-Nighter” spearheaded by this zany ass dude named Leon. This movie also features a young Michael J. Fox making his big screen debut. The game demands that its participants must gather odd objects and decipher riddles to figure out where the finish line is. The first group there, wins. However, the competitors, who consist of geeks, jocks and snobs, just might kill each other before they find a single clue. I always thought it would be ill to make a hip-hop parody based off this movie. I reached out to Heltah Skeltah and explained to them what I was looking for which was basically a real street interpretation of the movie’s synopsis from the vantage point of Ruck & Rock.

Although I was very pleased with the original version as featured on The Foundation, I thought it would be dope to drop an EP of remixes that showcase the beat making skill of many up-coming producer’s while also delivering their own interpretation of the theme of the record. I first reached out to the homey M-Phazes about this project and my goal here was to expand on the original version by rendering a remix that used elements from the movie. I sent Phazes the movie’s theme song and there was this really ominous sound in the very beginning- it didn’t even occur to me to sample that (hence why I’m not a producer), but Phazes used that sound as the center piece to his remix. He stamped his signature drums and bassline around the sample and came up with something really dope. From the rhymes to the beat, this remix is a modern day hip-hop parody to one of my favorite child-hood movies.

To make the cipher complete, I had the homey OK Pants hook up the artwork based off of the original movie poster from 1980. I was always a fan of 12″ and album covers that were a spin off an earlier body of work of a different genre, ie: Redman’s Dare Iz A Darkside & Funkadelic’s Maggot Brains or Young Black Teenager’s self titled debut & The Beatles Meet The Beatles (debut album). Artwork has always been an integral part of hip-hop culture and similar to how producers have resorted to using samples to provide the framework for a song, artists have drawn inspiration from the works of earlier and different genres to provide the foundation for album art. Hip-hop by and large is an amalgamation of varying cultures and in this digital age much of the culture’s essence falls by the wayside. Although it’s unfortunate, it’s still possible to carry on tradition and maintain the standards of yesteryear…The Midnight Madness Remix EP is my attempt to do just that.

Matt Diamond
Coalmine Records

The Midnight Madness Remix EP

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