ReMix: Sonic Adventure 2 'Knuckles' Unknown from M.C.'

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Sonic Adventure 2

This one came as a big surprise. Not that we don't expect great, new, original things from new ReMixers on a regular basis, but José the Bronx Rican was quite humble in his email and we'd not have necessarily guessed we were getting a rap ReMix of this quality, esp. since they are fairly rare and we just had the excellent if controversial Asterix mix posted so recently. While the Asterix mix had totally original lyrics, José has taken existing themes and lyrics from both Sonic Adventure 2 and 1 and rearranged the music as well as modifying the words to suit. In his words:

"This is my first submission, after what seemed like forever to get this remix whipped up. It says SA2, but it's actually a combination of the Knuckles themes from both SA 1 and 2, with elements of other Knuckles tunes. I wanted a 100% pure hip-hop result. The lyrics from both themes were rewritten to make them sound a bit less "corny," with new, original lines for the last half of the third verse. In lieu of the help of someone with an actual flow, I recorded the lyrics myself. Comments about the quality of the mix is much appreciated."

The quality is excellent, José. There's gangsta synth, smooth electric piano, phat beats, and while the mixer can be as self-deprecating as he wants to, the rapping here is great and the vocal processing/mixing decisions all appropriate as well. Very meaty bass and some horn hits to accentuate things, and tight production overall. It might be cheating, but in this instance two judges had some particularly notable comments. Quoth the Coma:

"Two very complete but listless songs have been simplified and stripped down to pure rappers' delight. Without hearing this mix first I wouldn't have believed these could be arranged any differently. Tight lyrics relevant to Knuckles and the games (moreso than the originals themselves), smoother flow and slicker emceeing than the SA2 song, and organ+keyboard+scratching instrumentation make this a hot rearrangement and an interpretation with style. This is strong stuff."

Mr.Ansari, alias DarkeSword, also had some kind words:

"No issues here. Sounds great, and a good interpretaton of the source tunes' musical aspects. The real trick to this remix is that the original songs are professionally produced rap tunes, and this song really takes those songs and makes them, as the remixer indicated, 100% hip-hop. By rewriting the lyrics, he's added his own spin on a very integral part of the source music; they're tighter, flow better, sound less corny, and are performed quite well. The rearrangement and interpretation of the lyrical part of the song is what makes it a winner. "

Very good stuff; excellent lyrical mutation and a good ear for rhythm and flow. A unique gem that shouldn't be passed over. Recommended, esp. for Sonic fans.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Salluz
on 2012-06-21 22:27:27
I showed this song to Hunnid P aka Knuckles, the guy who raps for Knuckles; song in Sonic Adventure 2, and he LOVED this shit. And funny, they're both New Yorkers. Hunnid P lives in Brooklyn, Jose stays in the Bronx.

Salluz:
HELL YEAH
Matter of fact, you ever heard of the Bronx-Rican?
Hunnid P:
das whas up i like dat
na but da bx is all luv
Salluz:
http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01134/
You inspired this nigga (well, he's Puerto-Rican, so technically he's not a nigga but whatevaa)
Hunnid P:
word i gotta hear him man i luv hearin how i inspired peeps man its been a long ride but im still here better than ever!!!

He's going to be doing some more stuff with Sega soon.
Bendario
on 2011-11-03 14:46:24
Wow, man. I'm normally wary of remixes with lyrics, but DAMN this is good. The wordplay is perfect and the melody itself is done right in every way. A++. Love all the references, by the way.
OA
on 2010-08-16 13:53:14
Ridiculously good. OCR's hip hop pinnacle, IMO.
A must-listen.
Salluz
on 2008-06-19 19:57:17
This happens to be one of my faves. I'll spit the details later, but yeah, just saying so after four years.
Liontamer
on 2008-05-22 02:40:53
Back in 2004 when I first heard this, DarkeSword passed me the track to play on VG Frequency because it extremely impressed djpretzel and the judges panel, and I was the radio host connected with most of the OCR staff back when I was still on the outside. And it's still the only track I ever encored on the same show; I just liked it that much, and so did the listeners.
Since I'm now gotten to meet and hang with José, I hope he doesn't take it the wrong way as me now being demystified or anything like that. But at the time, José came off to me like a somewhat mythical figure, because IMO this track was just light years ahead of anything else on OC ReMix.
I'm a real sucker for the details of this track. The production was crisp, I loved the fusion of lyrics and arrangement ideas from both versions of "Unknown from M.E.", Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, the original portions of the lyrics that were relevant to the character lyrics, as well as the seamless usage of sampled sounds from the Sonic series on the Sega Genesis. All that, and it was a hip-hop mix, something that OCR had nothing remotely like at the time.
A lot of great ideas came together here. At a site where the artists pride themselves on creating the unique, this one's always going to be one of the pieces that simply stands out from the rest as one of the most unique of the unique.
TheWestWind
on 2007-04-16 06:45:48
When I saw this ReMix I thought it would be interesting to say the least. Like how could you do a song like Knuckle's theme?
Well you did it amazingly~ I love how you brought in lyrics from so many of his level themes and his SA1 theme. I normally can't put up with rap/hip-hop that well, but I love listening to this song.
And if it makes any difference, I got my friend, who refuses to listen to any OC ReMixes, to listen and say this song 'isn't bad'. Yeah, he says he likes all original tracks better and no ReMix is original. I get in an argument with him over it like once a week.. >>
Bummer
on 2006-07-12 08:24:55
Holy deep gutwrenching barbequechicken woofer sandwich, THIS IS SUPERB. Rap and Hiphop isn't something that I like to listen to, due to the content in the lyrics mostly I guess. However, this may be rap but this ain't the same kind of rap I'm familiar of.
This is a specialized, improviced, solid, funky, spunky, agressive, depressive, cheerful and rapping masterpiece customized for the sole purpose to give knuckles a kickass theme. The overall content in the lyrics was both witty but mostly very skillfully written. This might bethe only time that i don't really bother much about the music, the human voice is the star instrument in this creation, and it's so awesome i'm gunna git this right now.
This is gold. With emeralds embraced in it. :D
Goten X
on 2006-05-21 13:52:31
Well done. I smiled through this whole review, and this is definitely one of my favorite remixes. Only because Knuckles is so badass. ^_^
|GX
The Orichalcon
on 2005-11-18 19:53:49
Just heard this on shuffle for the first time. Not a fan of rap, but this was gooooooood. Nice work.
Dionyseus
on 2005-11-03 15:40:00
I hate rap though there are a few exceptions (particularly Wyclef's 'Gone Till November') , but I must say that this is definitely the best rap remix I've heard yet from OCR. The voice sounds professional, and definitely reminded me of Sonic Adventure 2.
I just finished giving out the scores for the 7th field (there's a total of 17 fields, each field has about 20 5/5 star songs) of my OCR 00001 - 01250 Tournament, and this one made the cut into my list of Elite OCR (top 5 of each field make the cut), with a score of 94.8/100, so once again congrats for this fine remix.
SilentKnight
on 2005-07-27 06:03:57
maybe it's just me, but i tend to demand punchlines in every rap song that i listen to.
i think your mic presence and recording could use some improvement as I had to kinda listen closely to actually understand what you were saying.
the beat is semi-catchy, though to an extent a little repetitive.
you had punchlines, just not very strong ones (or not the ones im looking for). maybe im just being picky or whatever but i felt that you could've put some more effort into crafting your punchlines. your lyrics dont lack creativity, it just sounds to me that there was a lot of untapped potential in terms of lyrical content.
from the looks of things id say your flow is a little off at some parts, kinda like you rushed the last few syllables of a line.
overall, not bad, and good work
Salluz
on 2005-07-02 16:35:09
:D :D
Ay,this is DA' MIX!!!
I do think the percussion could've
been less repititous,but this kills
most OCR tracks,because of the groove.
In fact,I wanted to remix the same song,
but at first,it was too complicated,but now
that I have remixes waitin' to get in at some
point,and I've become better at music,it won't
be so hard.I'll make the attempt,and I know what
Knux song I'll remix...
Skyz
on 2005-06-27 18:31:54
You got it forreal Jose. We all know Knuckles is the man. That's why his theme is hip-hop, cuz he's the shit and so is the song. Good job man. You can spit for real.
John
on 2005-04-27 16:08:25
I registered just so I could review this ReMix.
Lyric-based mixes have a tendency to make me cringe, and I'd have never dl'ed this if it weren't my goal to listen to every mp3 on the site, but this one really took me by surprise. The flow is almost perfect and the lyrics are clever. The ability to write rhymes that so heavily reference to the source material but keep from becoming cheesy is too rare.
The only problem, which is common in a lot of rap, is that the intro and outro seem to drag a little bit compared to the fast-paced middle/heart of the piece.
This is definitely one of the very top ReMixes on the site.
Nineko
on 2005-01-04 07:20:05
first of all:
1) I hate every rap/black/hiphop and so on kind of song
2) I do not own SA1 or SA2 and I never listened to the original
but...
that's GREAT! I love so much listening to this song... Josè you did a wonderful job.
I cannot evalutate how much you improoved from the original because I never listened to it... but I can say that my overall rank is 28.5/30
great job - sure :D