DCT's submitted a couple near-misses in the past, but it was always clear he had something going on. With this quintessentially chill Sonic 3 mix he's refined his formula and teamed up with some allies to deftly transform the game's most ubiquitous track into a hip-hop beast. Ice Cap gets mixed often, so there's always a bit of the ole' gratuitous eye-rollin' when we see yet another take on what is admittedly some great music but has seen many a techno incarnation, often on auto-pilot. This ain't that, fortunately, as Duane joins the few, the proud, the OC ReMixers who aren't afraid to submit rap/hip-hop mixes. We've actually gotten some subs with damn good rapping where unfortunately the backdrop was a verbatim copy of the original with, you guessed it, a drum loop on top, so it's good to see talent paired up like this. DCT writeth:
"Everyone seems to look down on Ice Cap remixes because of the overwhelming amount of mixes that exist. Hopefully mine is different enough to stand out. It's a hip-hop mix (I know people are gonna HATE that), and there's rapping in it by a member of Urbanizm Music group Just Us (people are REALLY gonna hate that) ...there are homages to McVaffe's IceCapped and DarkeSword's Hot Ice, as well as a section of DarkeSword's original piece The Moonlight Ballroom (1st Movement)."
Hopefully, the artist's prognostications of hatin' proove false, but if you're not into rap/hip-hop it's admittedly unlikely this piece is going to bring you around. That being said, what we've got here is a good solid five minutes of fluid verse and smooth accompaniment. The bassline's been adapted to fit the more deliberate and syncopated context, drums have necessarily been reworked, with some nice stereo effects, and the core Ice Cap melody's covered by synth and bells, with tres mellow backing chords. There's no question that the background alone wouldn't work for all five minutes without something special to eat up the spotlight on top, so it's definitely a symbiotic thing. Lyrics here are wonderful... I can't relate personally to half of it, myself, but it's all very honest and comes off as authentic and not grandstanding - little breaks like "Nobody knows... I'll be alright though - I'll be okay" at 2'53" come off with just the right timing and sincerity, and anyone who's ever just felt strongly about music can relate to at least the overall theme. Now's a good time to introduce our newest addition to the judges panel, Harmony, who writes:
"The production on this track is top notch from A to Z. Very cleanly recorded vocals with layered tracks that accent, not overpower, the main flow. DCT’s beat has got a straight northern hip-hop vibe and the relentless lyrical flow takes me back to classic NYC rap groups like Camp Lo and even Digable Planets."
Yes, we weren't going to fill the position any time soon, but Brandon's name popped up and things seemed to click nicely. This is a very cool, memorable mix that's easy to get into from the get-go. I took a personal oath never to consistently watch any reality television whatsoever, but I have to confess to breaking my vows, as I've been tuning in to The Contender, and I can't help but thinking this track would make inspiring training music. At any rate, a hearty welcome to Duane, who's improved his craft considerably, our newest judge Harmony, who'll be helping us quell the storm of submissions, and shouts out to the respective members of Just Us, who along with DCT have put together a memorable, funky + decidedly new interpretation of a classic.
on 2011-01-17 23:22:33
this is really good stuff man. Not that I don't like straight instrumentals but it is refreshing to hear something with vocals or lyrical work that hits hard like this. Nice Job.
on 2011-01-16 15:12:57
I'm gonna be honest, I do NOT like rap...at all...congratulations, this song is so well done and heartfelt that even I like it!
on 2010-12-02 20:42:35
I just went through all 11 pages to see if I'd left a comment for this track; I could have sword I had, but I guess not.
I really dig this track. I'm not really into the gangsta-rap side of hip hop, but this on the other hand, I can listen to this stuff on repeat for a while. The lyrics are inspiring (and I thought they were well written/performed/recorded), and the groove is soothing. Excellent work, guys!
on 2010-11-07 20:27:06
Great flow, great backing, great mood, the lyrics tell a great story.
on 2010-09-01 17:48:36
Really nice flow, it's pretty relentless but still doesn't feel forced. The backing track is unique and well produced, but the vocal delivery is what really sets this apart.
Ridiculously good, don't miss this one.
on 2010-07-28 17:35:16
This is what I call a Flawless Victory. This song is fantastic, and the instrumental is bar none one of my favorite instrumentals ever made.
on 2010-06-08 20:10:57
Hey guys, I just wanted to thank everyone for your comments. It's awesome that people are still digging this thing after 5 years (it's been 5 years already? jeez...).
And also, to everyone who's been asking for the instrumental for this track, it's been here NOT getting downloaded - http://sonicskillz.com/?p=95
on 2010-06-08 03:52:32
I really like the mellow feel to this - gets me to just drift off mentally and enjoy the piece on a whole other level.
I'm not sure if it's due to the source or arrangement (most likely both) but I found myself humming little phrases from the melody and bassline as I was walking from class to class yesterday. Also, I just find the structure of the song helps with the flow of pictures in my head - in short, this would have a really touching music video if there was one.
I found this after looking for Hip-Hop on the site and to find one of this quality is pretty damn cool and satisfying. The break/switch-up at about 2:38 came a touch too suddenly for me but once I got over that, it sounds beautiful and keeps things fresh.
The lyrical content is inspirational, I find that whether it's relational or not is secondary to being able to provide the listener with a window into the rapper's world, which was done really well. Without rambling on for too long, this had me thinking about quite a lot of things - some superficial, others personal. Thanks.
The ending with the distorted vocal clips just gets me every time I listen to this, just adds a nice aesthetic to it that I like.
on 2010-04-22 13:39:23
This song is great. It has a sort of beauty to it in my opinion and is one of my favorites on this site. I love the lyrics.
This song is basically rap done right. It has a great message in it, but I can't completely relate to it.
The beat is great to. I especially like the interlude or whatever around 2:40 followed by a sort of funky bassline (I'm not sure if I chose the right word there).
on 2010-03-27 04:58:28
we need more DCT on ocr.
on 2010-01-28 10:53:16
Hi! I am rookie! Yesterday I downloaded the Sonic Remixes an all of them are Amazing!
But, here is my question, it's possible to get the instrumental of "Memories Frozen in Time"?. I love it!!.
on 2009-12-19 04:25:00
One of the most mainstream sounding songs I've heard on OCR in terms of the sound, but these aren't really the kind of lyrics you're likely to hear on the radio. This song combined the kind of professional beats you'd hear from a mainstream rap song with the kind of personal, meaningful lyrics you get from underground hip-hop.
I really agree that this one feels like an homage/tribute to Eminem's Mockingbird, but the subject matter of the lyrics combined with the familiar IceCap meldoy makes this one unique enough to hold onto Nice work fellas!
on 2009-01-17 15:49:39
One of the best, if not the best, rap remix on OCR. Instrumental beat is what it needs to be without overpowering the rapping. Like how fast the rap is, even though it doesn't convey much emotion. The lyrics, however, are extremely down-to-earth and full of emotion...really enjoyed how personal it gets.
You guys should make another song for OCR.
on 2009-01-03 03:57:56
This review thread is interesting to say the least. It's a great lesson on ways to effectively misuse your review privelages.
But to my views on the mix:
I'm a guy that remains pretty sheltered from rap/hip-hop, intentionally. I just see it as far too broad a genre to penetrate, and I also find it dauntingly homogeneous. That's why I love hip-hop artists that send out a helping hand to guide me through the battlefield: a hook or lure, some kind of metaphoric utensil that allows me to enjoy the craft without getting bored or alienated. I recently discovered Lupe Fiasco's ridiculously awesome melodic hooks that are complimented by the rapid-delivery so well. From that, I can really see what all the fuss is about, musically.
I also get the same vibe from this mix. Not that DCT and Just Us are much like Lupe Fiasco, but because they offer a great hook in the Ice Cap Theme. It's a great melody that doesn't intrude, is predictable but very co-operable, and it really works in providing a smooth track for the vocals to run on. Lyrics are cool, angst doesn't grate on me as much as stupid lyrics do, so this mix is in the clear on that one. I was also really overjoyed with the short break that offered a really serene moment, very rare in the generalised hip-hop scene. Great work, really impressive.
I also want to say that OCR should not be about making music that should sound radio-esque. Nor should it aspire to people's beliefs that all songs with the basis of videogame music should stay attached to videogame status. OCR is about the appreciation of videogame MUSIC, not the celebration or representation of videogames. The site is about creative license; if someone wants to make a rap song out of a tune that didn't traditionally conjure up the rap mood, that does not make the mix unjustified. I've seen a lot of people condemn this mix because they don't appreciate or understand the creative decisions made in relation to the original music. Noone should ever be discouraged from percieving material in new and non-traditional ways just because it may not seem like a natural progression. OCR is about expanding on something we all love as a form of expression, and I fail to see why this, and every other mix, doesn't belong here.
on 2008-05-05 23:30:31
This review thread got linked from somewhere and I just read the whole thing. This is flat out one of my favorite mixes ever posted on this site. I'd love to hear from you again.
Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)
- Primary Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega, 1994, GEN)
Music by Bobby Brooks, Brad Buxer, C. Cirocco Jones, Darryl Ross, Doug Grigsby III, Geoff Grace, Jun Senoue, Michael Jackson, Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tomonori Sawada
- "Ice Cap Zone: Act 1"
- Additional Game:
Sonic & Knuckles (Sega, 1994, GEN)
Music by Howard Drossin, Jun Senoue, Masaru Setsumaru, Masayuki Nagao, Sachio Ogawa, Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tokuhiko Uwabo, Tomonori Sawada, Yoshiaki Kashima
- "Sky Sanctuary Zone"
- Hip Hop
- Rapping, Vocals: Male
- Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Resubmission
- 4,980,925 bytes
[vocals performed by Noodle the Innocent Child (Andre Rainey) of Just Us]
Yo! Ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls!
Put your hands together for Just Us! Let's go!
Ever since I was a little kid I used to tell my uncle
I want to be in this music biz, I used to ditch my school for this
I told my uncle I'll make it and buy Mama a newer crib
Have her drive the newest whips looking fly as she cruises the strips in Vegas
Let her bump my songs as loud as music gets
She can't even hear herself thinking, not even with new Q-Tips
It's ludicrous; sit in my Grandma's house and I reminisce
On how fun it was having dreams, back when I was just a kid
And just to kid around we used to battle at lunch in the park
Me and my nigga CYPH LOW easily ripped niggas apart
But now it's not a game, I've sacrificed a lot of things
Lost my girlfriend and my Mama, but look I will not complain
I keep my head above the clouds, sort of like when I ride a plane
And I maintain my focus; I'm looking out for a brighter day
Hopefully God will save me, guide me through a brighter path
'Cause lately I've been in my room crying way more than I can laugh
If I can have anything I wanted, it'd be success
And a real relief from all this stress
And Grandma told me I've been blessed
And there's people that's out there steadily praying for me
They must not be believers 'cause their praying ain't paying, homey
I'm feeling so damn lonely; hopefully a UFO will come and just land on me
But God's got a plan for me
So, I just put in work, and I look at my foot, it hurts
From trying to stick it in that door and they close it, that wood, it hurts
It could be worse; I could be cursed, luckily though I could rehearse my life
And I'll know next time exactly how hard I should've worked
It's scary now 'cause people don't understand me
I'm even skeptical of my family because they talk about me
Way more and worse than most of my enemies would talk about me
And they've encouraged me, though they doubt me,
But I ain't pouting, maybe weeping, I feel weak in my knees
But I keep on keeping on and continue writing and recording these
songs until I'm gone...
Yeah, nobody knows...
I'll alright though, I'll be okay...
When I was young I used to get nervous when they'd say, “Spit your verses”
'Cause my verses had no curses and I ain't talk about murders
So I spit it off the head
Grandma used to wake up at nighttime and tell me go to bed
Quit writing rhymes and get some rest
And save some lead for your homework tomorrow boy, and your schoolwork
But by the looks of my grades you can tell I didn't do work
That's when she took my computer, and the phone and said I couldn't use her
Phone until I improved my grades, I felt like a loser
So I'd sit in my room and listen to instrumentals
And hope that I'd make the rhyme that makes people say, "He's official"
It just tickles me a little, thinking of all them punishments,
Maybe me and music wasn't meant to be, but I love this shit
Because of this, I feel relaxed when I want to grab something
Stab someone, I'd just write a rap and I'm back loving
Glad nothing's going to stop me from pursuing my dreams
And I remember when I had nothing if I do get this cream
I feel I deserve it, 'cause I'm one of the realest living beings
Taking nothing for granted, I'm happy to be living and breathing
Really, eating and speaking but I know that there's more to life
And all the mics I've spit on, uh, I can say the boy is nice.
Trying to climb that success ladder
Since mom and dad are never ever gonna get back together, it's up to me to make it better
Be the umbrella through the weather, that's where I stand
I'm focusing, becoming a man as fast as I can
Gram told me I got time, take it, when she woke me up with bacon
Gave me some inspiration at times I felt I wouldn't make it
All she wanted in return was me to ask her how her day went
Didn't even have to pay rent, though I did make a few payments
'Cause don't want no one to feel like they're being used
And being used is a bad feeling, trust me dog, I been through it
Me and music's all I need, me and music's all I have
That's why I continue writing these raps, yes
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