ReMix: Astérix "Niggaz 4 Life" 4:08

By RocketMermaid, zykO

Artist Links
collab hip-hop lyrics-explicit lyrics-original rapping singing vocals-male
Arranging the music of one song...

"Bonus"

Primary Game: Astérix (Infogrames, 1993, NES), music by Alberto José González

Posted 2004-02-21, evaluated by the judges panel


Okay, this one does need a bit of a disclaimer, and yes, it's because of a certain word that happens to be in the actual mix title. People are different and different words offend them, and this is certainly one of them. My personal take has always been that words themselves shouldn't be offensive - the ideas and intentions behind them should, and clearly the ideas and intentions in this mix are groovy, rhythmical, and decidedly not racist in any way. Nevertheless, if you can't get over a few expletives and "appropriated" racial slurs, i.e. "explicit lyrics," you should probably skip this. You'll be missing out on some true creativity and musicality though, as I'll describe below.

Honestly, adding a disclaimer to this felt a little lame, because it's just pretty damn cool. You really need to listen to the original off the NSF to fully appreciate the rhythmical fun being had here - to have heard the source material and come up with this hip-hop tour-de-force full of slick rhymes, Star Wars references, pizzicato, a rubbery bass of formidable funk, amusingly "serious" vibrato singing on the chorus, a relentless beat, blaxploitation synth, and even some props to the game arrangement community.... well, it's one of those tracks that is definitely a singular experience, a shitload of fun, and clearly involved talented people having fun ReMixing. If you can listen to this and find a scrap of anything truly mean-spirited or intentionally offensive, I'm surprised. Furthermore, I'd be surprised if - even if rap/hip-hop is not your thing - you don't find yourself humming the chorus incessantly. I actually found the chorus running through my head at work the other day and I had to be careful not to sing the lyrics, even under my breath, as the workplace is definitely not as ideologically liberal when it comes to vocabulary. The original melody was minimal enough so that it didn't have to be oversimplified to work with the genre, and Ubik and zykO pull a key change as well as pitch-shifting the vocal steadily downwards in one bit.

Maybe one day ReMixes will be so ubiquitous that it wouldn't be uncommon for Outkast or Jay-Z to cover something like Journey to Silius, but I'm not sure I'd wanna see that degree of pervasiveness and all the repercussions it would come with, and besides that, this is just as good as most of what I'd imagine would be produced. A touching story of friendship, deadly rhymes, goofy singing, and a boatload of creativity, this is indeed a classic.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Darksymphony777
on 2016-05-31 09:50:34

wacha i like this song, not the lyrics but the fact that i find it's a parody of the rap genre (in a good way) the beat while a little bland in my eyes i can see the rhythm and how it was used.

as for my two cents on the whole racial thing. i do not care about the word, it's how you use it. my cousin Vanessa (who is the only family member i love) is married to a black guy and he's awesome and i'm happy to be related to him.

my stepfather on the other hand....oh how racist that man is

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Damashii!!
on 2014-01-01 21:42:07

words to live by, no doubt.

just stopping by for my annual spiritual cleansing.

:tomatoface:

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NegimaSonic
on 2011-01-27 16:28:45

hahaha, the song is kind of funny... though I can't believe I found this song one night after I heard...

I can definitely say the lyrics in this song are MUCH better than that.

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Holy Land
on 2010-09-01 18:56:07

This is another classic.

Usually rap remixes here turn into seriously poor and embarrassing performances, but zyko knows how to do it in a credible and inventive way. I love his range (all those different voices are GREAT), as well as his natural timbre.

This is funny as hell, I don't know why people get so upset over the usage of the word in question. I'm half-black, I know he doesn't mean harm with it, this rules guys.

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OA
on 2010-09-01 18:33:01

Pretty funny rhymes overall as long as you can handle some coarse language.

Layered vocals worked well, and the shoutouts to the VGmusic sites at the end was pretty cool.

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yosefu
on 2009-06-07 22:52:08

HAHa this song is pretty cool and catchy. so thankyou for doing this mix sir.

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metalsnakejuice
on 2009-05-27 11:03:32

Wow l had something completely different idea for this but hey l thought l it was great and quirky.

Good job:-P

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Polo
on 2009-04-26 19:10:12

Bass beats and claps set the bouncy ground at the start, saying "check it, we got attitude." The ear-ringing whistle and pizzicato following them give the mix an urgent invitation akin to "now gather 'round and listen to my story about my beloved nigga." A reed organ supports the chorus like a parent offering adequate space for his/her child to explore the world around it. The windpipe-like synth at 0:40 seems sly but serious, as if cautioning "there's more to this story than meets the eye." The solo guitar halfway through offers a couch-lounging break to reflect upon things, and the piano appearing after that is a new bass solidifier and mood lightener. Even the octave rise from the source is saved for the end, bringing the sense of niggahood to a closer level. All the while, the beat flows on, confident in its danceability and quietly grinning to itself when it learns another person has been caught up in its contagious net.

The lyrics are so well put together that even when they're slightly asynchronous with the beat, they smoothly pour their energy (in rhyme and tone) into the next words. Many lines are both clever and hilarious, but the ones that really speak to me are:

"Till every Roman soldier bow downs" - a heartfelt wish and goal of every Gaul, to be sure.

"I waste half a language" - sounds like Obelix cusses up a storm as he struggles out of his Roman prison cage.

"Tallest blade of grass is the first to get shit upon" - life lesson right there.

Not just the words, but the vocals are equally all over the map, panned left, right, and center as they playfully change tones and pitches with abandon. A wacky masculinity haunts the chorus, Obelix starts with a lungful of helium before running out of breath (don't worry, he's just "wasting half a language" :D), and even Julius Caesar deigns to note his source of discomfort with a haughty wrinkle of his nose.

And of course I love every smartass quip, grunt, laugh, moan, and ad-lib sound effect that rides on the mainstream rapping. They're the donut sprinkles of the mix, coloring the camaraderie both raw and pure. The lightsaber-ish "bzz-bzz" when Star Wars is referenced, the hurriedly echoed "12-pack of maxi pads!", the howling during Dogmatix's part, the guttural "Amon~ Ra~", the yells of "IT'S ASTERIX!", "dinnertime" instead of "day or night" near the end... smiles all around. They practically comprise a separate song in themselves.

While it's not crystal-polished in terms of production, I've grown to love every idiosyncrasy that Niggaz 4 Life has to offer. zyko and Ubik had a ball crafting this mix, and I enjoy listening to it. Now every time I reach the bonus level in the NES game, I laugh and sing the lyrics of this mix.

One love indeed. 3

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Jaybell
on 2007-07-09 11:23:16

That chorus is very much catchy. DJP complained in the writeup about how he ended up getting it stuck in his head? Same situation. I'll just be playing a game or working on something and I'll find myself humming softly, "...you my nigga, and I'm yo nigga" without realizing it.

I'm not offended by the use of the word "nigga" in this context. If they had made a racist song and had lyrics that were racist, then I would not approve. But they aren't. It's like if you're playing a video game with your friends and they're about to beat you and you say "I swear, I'll kill you if you do that." In the most literal definition of the sentence, yes, it does mean "I have the intent of murdering you." But obviously, you don't mean that! It's not like you actually are planning to kill them, you're just goofing around. And you know that, and your friends know that. So, yes, by definition, the word "nigga" is bad, but it's obviously not used like that. They aren't saying "you're my african-american slave originating from nigeria" or "you're my derogatory term for black person" or whatever the definition is. They're saying "you're my friend, I'm your friend." That's all.

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SomeCrazyGuy
on 2007-06-05 01:15:17

Pretty fun to listen to, my only gripe is with how disjoined the vocalists are. While I find some disjointedness to be in place, it is just too noticable in the chorus... Maybe it was just me though, great mix!

As for the use of... Well, a certain word, I honestly don't give a crap. Let the fools argue amongst themselves of such petty issues... While you argue over a mere word, I'll argue the judgment of they who truly use the word in wrath or ignorance, not play.

I mean, yes, certainly it SHOULDN'T be used for the simple reason that the word was used to express immense hatred and/or supposed superiority to another race. But currently, the word is being used, as I lack a better word for it, ironically by that very race (at least SOME people of that race, there are quite a few who know how foolish it is) in mere jest, and in this case, a friendly term. Just how 70 years ago, one could say they were feeling quite gay, people wouldn't think anything more than happiness or joy; but only 20 years ago, that very same word now means something very different, not wrong, but very different nonetheless... But has changed even MORE:

I'm feeling quite gay. (Happy; Well Known, but Obsolete)

I am gay. (This is the form best known and accepted by current society as the meaning [iE, first meaning to come to the minds of most people]; It's meaning being 'Homosexual')

"Aw man, my girlfriend dumped me last night for that stupid football player"

"Well, that's gay."

"Tell me about it." (Not very often used, but known quite well nonetheless; meaning, more or less, 'An Unsatisfactory Situation')

The word we are talking about has a few meanings as well:

(Ignorant Person; Obsolete)

(Expression of strong hatred or feeling of superiority of one of light skin pigmentation towards one of dark skin pigmentation)

(Can be used as a term of friendliness or comradship between persons, as shown in the remix, most often between persons of dark skin pigmentation, often seen as unacceptable as skin gets lighter)

So while the word itself shouldn't be used in general, and though it isn't particularily neccesary, it is has become acceptable in certain instances (though, again, unneccesary), and, once again... It's merely a word, and I don't really find it worth arguing about unless it is being used by someone, not in jest, but in hate, and even then, we would argue the mindset of the one who spoke the word, rather than the distastfulness of the word itself.

(Sorry if I made myself look like a fool, I'm not so new to message boards, so if that is the case, I am fully to blame. n_n;)

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zykO
on 2007-05-31 01:33:17

omg! double a ron!

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big giant circles
on 2007-05-31 00:41:40

you know WHO can bring it on a mic?

DISCLAIMER: You're about to be BLAZED

THIS GUY

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zykO
on 2007-05-31 00:17:36
you are pretty dense.

maybe as you've seen recently, not every black guy nor rapper, or prominent black man endorses the use of the n word.

It's nothing to do with me, but rather what constitutes good taste in music. Throwing slurs around, despite the song's "message" is not creative. PERIOD.

Matter of fact, this is a microcosm of what's wrong with the hip hop culture itself, shock value wins over actual talent.

let's see this kid drop the same song without the word in it and judge it that way.

So yeah, don't bother wasting your breath again, cause YOURS is a losing argument, son.

TO those who want to hear a QUALITY hip hop game song, check out the Metal Gear and River City Ransom sections, I believe, Po or Zyko put some out on OC.

that's funny that you'd call me dense. right

at least you gave Venom props. good lookin'

i don't take offense to your point on using the word "nigga" but the debate isn't likely to ever end. i agree with you as a matter of principle; the word is derived from a racial slur and, fundamentally speaking, should not be used. however, i rap as i speak and that is how i speak. chamillionaire and russell simmons and al sharpton can say whatever they want about how it ought to be different but as long as niggas are still calling each other niggas out here on the street, i will continue to express myself as truly and genuinely as i can. perhaps, it is in bad taste but oddly enough, niether you nor i are the judge of that. at least i'm doing and saying what comes natural and am not forcing anything and that is a lot more than what a lot of emcees can say about themselves with their chain-swaying, collar-poppin, wannabe thug status.

what you and every other bitch out there that keeps attacking my track is REALLY trying to say is that i can't spit. its pretty unlikely that y'all have a serious problem with the word because it is too widespread in the genre and a lot of you are clearly very familiar and likewise fans (at least to some degree) of the genre so i'm not buying your bullshit. what this is really about is y'all questioning my ability to spit (or my credibility to say "nigga" due to my skin color). which is fine, whatever. niggaz 4 life was recorded nearly 5 years ago and was really one of my earliest attempts at recorded rap and definetly the first to attract any substantial attention. so as debuts go, i think i killed most of you clowns there.

so you can call me dense. you can even question my game (though grossly stupid to do so). ultimately i'm the one having the last laugh

cuz even if you can bring it on a mic... that's probably where the train stops for you

=============

how much longer will this go, anyhow? :)

why doesnt somebody actually grow the balls to drop something in response instead? expression through art. that is what this is all about. don't hide behind your carefully worded forum rants

spit it. show your mettle. let's have some REAL conversation instead of this watercooler, bitch talk.

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ProFiction
on 2007-05-12 16:02:46

Finally listened to this after seeing it on the front page every day for the past 800 years or so.

I dunno, I thought the vocals could be louder during the verses. I have a hard time understanding what is being said without looking at the lyrics.

Other than that, I like this a lot! The rapping is pretty decent and the beat is hot. Definetly a good addition to the site.

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jayt11
on 2007-05-12 10:19:11
jayt11:

so you do realize that it is fundamentally holier-than-thou to say "I'M BLACK, I DON'T SAY NIGGA AND THEREFORE NIETHER SHOULD YOU"

man, you may be like only the 5th brotha in the community, but you aren't the 5th brotha in the world and you aren't exactly preaching any message that wasn't already attempted by 3 of the other 4 brothas in this community before you and has been preached by many a brotha over the years

so here's my response to you: Get that "it wouldn't be the same as making a song called 'crackaz 4 life'" bullshit out of my face. if you can't see the value of self-expression beyond what you deem a "thinly veiled message", explaining it to you would be the same waste of breath the last four times was.

thank you for listening, anyways

you are pretty dense.

maybe as you've seen recently, not every black guy nor rapper, or prominent black man endorses the use of the n word.

It's nothing to do with me, but rather what constitutes good taste in music. Throwing slurs around, despite the song's "message" is not creative. PERIOD.

Matter of fact, this is a microcosm of what's wrong with the hip hop culture itself, shock value wins over actual talent.

let's see this kid drop the same song without the word in it and judge it that way.

So yeah, don't bother wasting your breath again, cause YOURS is a losing argument, son.

TO those who want to hear a QUALITY hip hop game song, check out the Metal Gear and River City Ransom sections, I believe, Po or Zyko put some out on OC.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Astérix (Infogrames, 1993, NES)
Music by Alberto José González
Songs:
"Bonus"

Tags (7)


Genre:
Hip Hop
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Rapping, Singing, Vocals: Male
Additional:
Lyrics > Lyrics: Explicit
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration

File Information


Name:
Asterix_Niggaz_4_Life_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,051,851 bytes
MD5:
a95b4cfbd737b5ad9822442e308f0f5b
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
4:08

[Chorus]
well, u ma nigga
and i'm yo' nigga
we iz niggaz till da end of time
wit rhyme afta rhyme
day or night
cuz we iz niggaz till da end of time

Astérix:
(dan dan de da!) fanfare cues my entrance
brass helmet-head nigga wit da warrior resemblance
the warrior exemplifies war-mongerin' tenses
so i can finesse niggas inta unintended messes
my claws juggle the jaws of disobedient padawans
cuz i'm master yoda, heh, you're just obi-wan
a swordsman, huh? nigga i'm a cavalry mongoli-ON
i chop you down as i cut thru your whole battali-ON

Cacofonix:
whack niggas comin' up wit snack packs and backpacks
if you get too lax, u'll get sacked like warren sapp
break yo' back worse than scott stapp
snap yo' steez in more places than a honey comb gets bees, you gets slapped
we roll strapped wit gats, gift wrapped at officemax for less than a 12 pack of maxi pads
we flat out shout out till every roman soldier bow downs
cuz mothafuckin' gaul's a poppin' madhouse!
asTÉRIIIXXXX!

Getafix:
yea, you a hypochondriac, you wish you are what i is
a severe genetic birth onset defect called ILLNESS
it's fitting that i leave my essence in a bloody effervescence
while i infest nests of self-replicating worms in your chest
astérix, BANG, packin' heat for hours
world powers crumble when i double mumble, leaders cower
fresh out of the gate, i'm irrate rattin' out your whole team
sleep-deprived. your dreams bust out through your seams

Obélix:
so you still think u can face me on the battlefield of ages?
where i'm ten mages, fire breathin' and faceless?
i waste half a language feedin' my ten rages to break outta ten cages and see what war a fool wages
when the end is as clear as your beginning pages
i rearrange the stages of my rat race mazes in phases
my method is quite tasteless
i insist that you bleed outta various different places...

Dogmatix:
da best case is: you keep your shit together more than ever
cuz weed's graphic MAX controller cord be gettin' severed
cock back 'n [BLOW] consequence of da shotgun
tallest blade a grass is the first to get shit upon
i'm the biggest damn hog eatin' dog on the farm
no need for alarm, i'm transformed into a firearm
we rhymin' on, ridin' on with not too much to rally on
"TALLY HO, yo!" read yo story in your fuckin' palm

Astérix:
my goat blood "X" protects you from creeping death
give life to the unborn vengeance with my holy breath
i storm on bitch niggaz like i split AND reformed the red sea
when the egyptians wrote of AMON RA, they meant me
you get your crib sprayed with 27 bullets in your ribcage
i engage in deep thought and rearrange your life on a page

Caeser:
"hmm, praythee wat sweet stench makes me so sick?"
it's ASTÉRIX!!!

[Chorus]

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