I am proud to say that I was into A Tribe Called Quest before it was cool to be into A Tribe Called Quest…in fact, I loved–no, I was infatuated–with A Tribe Called Quest when no . Ever since stumbling onto I Left My Wallet In Ed Segundo when I was 13 years old, I was hooked. ATCQ’s unique art of story-telling, fun and witty lyrics, and use of obscure jazz samples from the 70s–all together was a recipe for pure magic.
It seemed like I was alone though. None of my friends in school had even heard of A Tribe Called Quest. They were all busy listening to Vanilla Ice, Ghetto Boyz, C&C Music Factory and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. I think I remember them even making fun of me because I was so into this obscure hip-hop group that got zero radio play and was nowhere even near “the charts.” For the love of God, I actually made A Tribe Called Quest Ping-Pong paddle in eighth grade woodshop! If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is!
So I kind of think it’s funny that somehow, sometime after 2005, all of a sudden A Tribe Called Quest became the “cool” thing. Freakin’ hipsters.
I’m not sure if I’m happy that the group has got the recognition they deserve, or if I’m peeved that I didn’t get the credit for loving them so much, so early in the game. Any way, take note: I loved ’em first!
So here comes Pharrell Williams, with a 2015 remix of one of the best songs ever made! Seriously, Bonita Applebum is my all-time favorite song…ever. And always has been! It’s a Slow Jam, a Hip-Hop song and a vibey jazz tune all rolled into one.
The remix will be available as a free download upon pre-order for the reissue, being released on November 13th. The album’s re-release will be the first of many reissues ATCQ plans to put out over the next few years. A Tribe Called Quest last released a studio album in 1998 with The Love Movement.
I’m excited about these reissues, but this remix, not so much. Anyway, here’s Pharrell’s version.
So what did you think? I’m calling out all my hipster friends who think this is some “amazing masterpiece.” It’s not. I won’t go as far as to say Pharrell destroyed a classic–but what I’m trying to say is that you can’t make Bonita Applebum any better than it already is. The original song itself is such a phenomenal work of art…it’s like trying to “re-style” the Mona Lisa. Just don’t please.
So hipsters, stop right now and check the original Bonita Applebum, and I think you’ll agree that Pharrell’s futile attempt to remix this beauty didn’t come close to matching the magic of the original.
I could listen to Bonita over and over and over again, for 1,000 years straight, and never tire of it.
There actually was one remix of the song that actually did do the original version justice, and that was the Hootie Mix. This remix actually appeared on the B-side of the actual Bonita Applebum single back in 1990 and it was almost as good as the original–in some ways better! It sampled The Isley’s Between The Sheets even before Biggy’s Big Poppa did! Here it is, for your listening pleasure.
So to recap…the original Bonita is perfection. And the original remix to Bonita was pretty close to perfection too. Thanks for playing, but even you, Pharrell, can’t make this song better.