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M.I.A Just Want To Take Your Money: Scottie B’s ‘Paper Planes’ Remix


-‘Paper Planes’ (Scottie B Remix) off Homeland Security Remixes.

-‘Bmore Club Slam’ by Scottie B and Wale off Wale’s Mixtape About Nothing.

On her own type of cultural imperialism, M.I.A’s grabbed this and that from the Baltimore Club scene recently. Blaq Starr provided some production on ‘Kala’, has gone on tour with her, and Starr’s protégé Rye-Rye, a teenage girl from Baltimore has joined her on-stage and appears on another ‘Paper Planes’ remix. With all that in mind, it’s hard not to read Baltimore Club legend Scottie B’s remix of M.I.A’s ‘Paper Planes’ as a little contemptuous. He speeds her vocals up into an even more annoying nag or slows them down into a blurry drag, and punctuates it all with a persistent vocal chopped and reorganized to say “…why can’t you see?/M.I.A just want to take your money.”

Scottie B’s been a DJ since the late 80s, involved in Baltimore Club since its inception and still co-owns/runs ‘Unruly Records’. His style is decidedly throwback, almost all classic club-breaks and tons of House and Hip-House signifiers which he consistently finds new ways to flip and fuck around with; he’s both a hardcore protector of the scene and open-minded celebrator of out-of-town “BMore club” love. He’s bitter enough—see that shirt above—but he always goes out of his way to state that support for the music is important no matter what or where it comes from.

And so, he’s rightly jumped on the Baltimore Club remix trend, sending out remixes for hipster darlings like M.I.A, Santogold, and Wale, but sending them out as uncompromising all-out Baltimore Club jams. There’s no compromise here. Only the real thing. ‘Paper Planes’ gets the same destruction and then, rehabilitation as any other song ripe with samples would receive on its way through the Scottie B, Baltimore Club assembly line. When even people from Baltimore call Spank Rock or Diplo “Baltimore Club” and tell you how “crazy” it was when M.I.A brought out “this little black girl Rye-Rye”, this is important.

Rather than outwardly complain, Scottie takes the opportunity to do the music he’s known for more than two decades right. One of the best aspects of the remix is the way he grabs the original ‘Paper Planes’ gun-shots and uses them for rat-a-tat percussion- the way it’s used on a song like say, ‘Safe’ by KW Griff (which can be found, amongst other places, on Rod Lee ‘Vol. 5’, a nationally distributed Baltimore Club mix/album). Scottie B spins samples from ‘Paper Planes in all directions, speeding them up and slowing them down and sticking a layer a classic house kick-drum and rumbling bass under it all. Loud enough, it makes you feel kind of woozy and sorta makes the original version feel like a waste of time.

And of course, there’s those vocal edits, “all I wanna do is take your money” and “MIA just want to take your money”. It could just be Scottie B doing what he does or it’s some not-too subtle address of the London/Sri-Lankan’s questionable interest in Baltimore music and this whole half-contemptible (not totally contemptible, mind you) hipster trend that’s got everybody upset or at least, thinking.

Contrast it with ‘Bmore Club Slam’ off Wale’s new mixtape. It’s a song that Wale said he commissioned from Scottie, a symbolic connection between the DC rapper and Baltimore Clubbers. It’s not a remix so it’s a little different, but it’s interesting that Wale’s basically allowed to run circles around Scottie’s beat and do whatever he wants

Written by Brandon

June 5th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

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