Riffs and Variations
(Alternate Takes, Live Versions, and Early Mixes)
Venus X - “Uptown Shorty (A$AP Rocky Remix)”
Venus X’s stage name perfectly encapsulates the look and persona that she presents. She’s attractive, but it a weird way. (Venus…X, get it?) She’s dyed her hair sea-green and mostly pulls it off, in a massively-successful-Tumblr-curator sort of way.1 But, unlike you, fair Tumblr-users, she’s a productive and fairly successful member of New York’s music scene. Hell, she’s even worked with Shakira.
The track above is her edit / remix / rework of the song “UGK” by Main Attrakionz and A$AP Rocky. Like most of the world, Venus X chose to disregard Squadda and Mondre in favor of Rocky.2 The track jettisons most of the original, in fact. Instead, the two things that she does retain (the chorus sample of Bun B saying “Underground Kingz”3 and Rocky’s verse) each have to push their way through the track. The song’s extended intro features strings that are eventually over taken by a slightly klaxon-y electronic section through which the original track’s chorus tries to break, each time getting a little more of a foot in the door. By the time that it’s progressed from “Und-” to the full chorus couplet, the song starts to take off, as Rocky’s ad-libs slip into the background. Then, Venus loops Rocky’s opening line “ASAP shorty, uptown shorty” before finally letting his verse out. Then, as the song ends, the chorus and Rocky’s verse fight it out before the track ends with what sounds like a whole bunch of doors slamming rhythmically.
Like I said, weird, but attractive.
1. Don’t pretend that you don’t know what I mean. If you’re on Tumblr, you’ve come across at least one Tumblr called “Mall Goth Teen Witch” that has twice as many followers than you, and is run by a girl with dyed hair and a bevy of over-sized t-shirts.
2. I mean, I like “Peso” as much as the next guy, but how are Main Attrakionz not getting huge? 808s and Dark Grapes II is one of the best mixtapes of the year (it kills LiveLoveA$AP) and all of their previous mixtapes feature at least a few insanely good tracks each. I HAVE A LOT OF OPINIONS ABOUT THEIR MUSIC AND YOU WILL PROBABLY BE HEARING THEM SOON.
3. That’s like sample double-dipping.