A few years ago, a friend from LA sent a CD-R of mashups including an (as it turns out) illicit DJ TimG remix of “99 Problems” which cleverly utilised Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” as the rhythm track–it was, indeed, a bangin’ mix and, having dismissed Jay-Z previously, my head was turned. When I eventually heard the popular released version on Radio 1 of this humorous catalogue of disasters faced by today’s African-American, not only were the swears very awkwardly and pointlessly erased (I mean, everyone still says the cuss words in their heads, right?), but the riddim was quite different. Yes, the version on this 50p charity shop twelve features a hard rock guitar, but it was Billy Squire’s (I think), not the funky Hendrix one and simply ain’t as good.
As mentioned previously, I don’t have much post-1999 hip hop, but this still gets played by me and the boys when anyone who might be easily offended is out of the house.