Hot Track of the Week: “Old Thing Back” by Matoma and The Notorius B.I.G

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The Hot Track of the Week this week is “Old Thing Back” by Matoma and The Notorious B.I.G feat. Ja Rule & Ralph Tresvant. This past summer Matoma released the track on SoundCloud, and it got up to 7 million plays. Recognizing its quick popularity, Big Boy Records quickly signed Matoma and the official track was released last month. The song is not very new but in my opinion it hasn’t received nearly the credit it deserves. It’s a remix of Biggie’s “Want That Old Thing Back” off his Greatest Hits album. The original was released 10 years after his death (rest in peace) so its not one of his more well known tracks, but its still Biggie so obviously it’s good. Tom Straete (a.k.a. Matoma) is actually a pretty interesting guy. He’s a classically trained musician, but his focus is on remixes of popular hip-hop songs. He’s explained that he noticed that hip hop has a swing that mimics newer house music; the two were made for each other. All of his tracks are a fusion of these two styles, and people definitely seem to like it. As for “Old Thing Back,” Straete claims that The Notorious B.I.G. is his hip-hop hero and after coming across the A capella for “Want That Old Thing Back,” the original, he ran with it. He used Biggie’s lyrics as inspiration for the instrumentals he adds behind the verse. He didn’t think the track necessarily stood out from his other work; the listeners beg to differ.

Artists come out with remixes of old hip-hop songs all the time and usually they either distort the original song too much or the track doesn’t differ much and therefore doesn’t have much impact. And remixing beloved tracks by the “gods” of the genre is a dangerous path. A sense of nostalgia in listeners tends to cause them not to like the remix, because why mess with the art of a musical mastermind? Occasionally, though, someone hits the sweet spot and comes out with a track that brings back old, forgotten favorites to people who loved them the first time around, as well as to new listeners. I tend to be one of those who is a bit stingy about remixes of classics, especially when it comes to Biggie; but this track got me hooked. Its reminiscent of the bold Ratatat remix of “Party and Bullshit” released in 2007, although they stepped on even more dangerous ground by remixing a track that’s almost sacred in the hip hop world.

Seriously, go check this one out. I think its going to become my staple of the summer. Nothing beats Biggie, Ja Rule and saxophone, amiright?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb3XfrCtjVU