Walk It Out - DJ Unk (feat. Outkast & Jim Jones)
I was never good at Soulja Boy’s dance “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”, and as time passes the only part of the dance I can really remember was the need to snap your fingers. “Walk It Out” by DJ Unk came out before “Crank That”, but in the fuzzy memory of late middle school and early high school it was just another song that sparked too many people to stop whatever dances they were doing and try to “Walk It Out”. So, they’d clear out enough space to either prove very much how dancing is in their blood or that they needed to watch the video on BET a few more times.
But, the surprising thing about “Walk It Out” is that I cannot remember the last time I’ve heard the original version of the song, as radio stations and parties seem to gravitate toward the remix. And not without good reason, it was one of the early Andre 3000 surprise guest verses that stole the song from its original owner. That’s not to say Big Boi’s verse is not good, but this is a time when it is okay to say 3000 was leagues ahead of Big Boi, while Jim Jones appears to be still riding high off his “We Fly High” prime. I do not actually know if the remix charted on its own, but it is the only version of the song I think about, which is kind of sad as this was DJ Unk’s only real hit but I guess that is a consequence when a remix is commissioned with one of rap’s greatest groups and a rapper with the hype of one of the biggest mid-2000s rap songs.
Keisha - Jawan Harris (feat. Tyga)
This has been a great year for Chris Brown singles and features, even if his public image has only continued to deteriorate. With one of the biggest rap songs of year (“Look At Me Now”), “Beautiful People” doing well on charts across the world and has a great slot on a late night pop station mix, “My Last” his most successful feature spot will be feeding Big Sean for years to come, and looking at the rest of his work: he has nearly a dozen songs that could be played on radio, which is a impossible to not know if you turn on a Rap or Pop station.
Jawan Harris is not Chris Brown, and even with all of the success of Chris Brown probably has no aspiration of wanting to be Chris Brown. But, his single “Keisha” sounds like it could have been the Chris Brown hit in 2005 with just a hint of Justin Beiber (who I forgot to mention also has a song with Chris Brown out now). The well under 18 years old Harris singing “all that pretty on your face” is pretty goofy no matter his age, but for a song that is going to be a slow jam at a Middle School dances, that line only raises the innocence of the song. Tyga appears as the older brother or the Juelz Santana in “Run It” to Harris’ Chris Brown, and while Tyga verse is minor R&B rap, there is something odd in hearing him as the elder voice on in a song. But, with a video full of high school hallways, letter jackets, and thick rimmed glasses; the 6th grade me would have seen Tyga as a big time rap star and Harris as his little brother singing his heart out.