"1985 (DJ Premier 1966 Remix)" — J. Cole: Best New Song - DJBooth

DJ Premier Gives J. Cole's "1985" a Cinematic Reworking on "1966" Remix

"I asked Cole if I could get the a cappella and do an underground DJ version just for fun. He sent it and I just pieced some stab samples to keep it on some boom bap shit.”
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DJ Premier releases a remix of J. Cole's "1985"

J. Cole’s KOD standout “1985,” an older brother lecture in song, gets the grown man treatment as the venerable DJ Premier delivers his “1966” remix.

Preemo strips away Cole's gummy and funky leads and replaces them with some dusty and crunchy boom bap textures. Additionally, his sample selection gives the cut a cinematic touch, a moment of arrival as J. Cole uses this track to both draw and bridge generational divides. With the added space on the song, Cole’s bars and message have a fresh chance to sink their teeth into the listener.

“I bought J. Cole's KOD LP as soon as it dropped with no warning to the fans; which I too am a fan,” DJ Premier tells DJBooth. “‘1985’ resonated with me immediately, so I asked Cole if I could get the a cappella and do an underground DJ version just for fun. He sent it and I just pieced some stab samples to keep it on some boom bap shit.”

With that, “1966” delivers a plush and wafting mood. Preemo takes the rickety quality of the original and turns it into something a bit more skulking and biting. Of course, the remix is closed out with DJ Premier's superb scratching and the vocal hang time on the beat gives the remix an implicit punch. 

If you didn’t heed Cole’s warnings the first time around, perhaps a DJ Premier cosign will make you reconsider. 

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