The internet can be dichotomous as hell for a hip-hop fan. On one side, it's teeming with terribly executed remixes and mashups, a never ending thread of mediocrity that can leave even the most optimistic heads wanting to ditch their modems in favor of their dusty old CD booklets.
The flip-side to this is the occasionally brilliant re-imagining of one of our favorite artists’ works, an internet-facilitated manifestation of the same principles of sampling and interpolation that made hip-hop what it is today.
Dubbed The Life of Paul, the project is a track-by-track rework of Kanye’s latest release, one that painstakingly adds depth and context to an album that Kanye may or may not be finished toying with.
Dorian dug through the samples and demos for The Life of Pablo, combining elements of the original album with elongated versions of Kanye’s seemingly bottomless sample pool and early demos of some of the tracks to create a fantastic, must-hear alternate version of the album.
The quality of the project is top-notch, and while not all of the changes are spot on, the majority of Dorian’s changes add a new layer of understanding to the album and at times—his version of “All Day” should absolutely be the original, in my humble opinion—improves upon Kanye’s original ideas.
A full list of the changes Dorian made can be found here, and reading along with the changes while listening provides a uniquely exciting musical experience, especially for those that are already keenly familiar with the original album.
The Life of Paul is, ultimately, one of those unexpected internet gems. And though it might not exhibit the same replay value for Kanye fans as the original release, it’s far from a half-baked remix, and a perfect example of when endeavors like this go right.
Editor's Note (5:31 p.m. ET): Unfortunately, the powers at be have removed the project's stream for copyright purposes. This is the internet, though, so it's out there. Happy digging.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.