Drezo’s Remix Will “Make You Look” At Nas’ 2002 Hip-Hop Classic In A Whole New (Strobe) Light!

The Bible predicted reissue culture thousands of years ago, with the rather bleak adage, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Dang, they were already out of ideas in 200 A.D.?!?) While that may be true, that everything is perennial, returning, resurging into the daylight of mass consciousness, it’s not always the case in the lightning fast world of pop music/hip-hop and r&b. Pop music is about moving forward, for the most part, with the occasional retro flourishes to help listeners feel comfortable and orient themselves.

With pop’s breakneck full-throttle rush towards the future, even the greatest singles can sometimes seem as disposable and unnecessary as Aquafina bottles. Music’s not supposed to be product, though, it’s an expression - it’s art, soundtracking the most important moments of our lives.



Nas’ 2002 hip-hop classic, “Made You Look,” could be the party slogan for futuristic pop music, coming from a moment when the nostalgia wars were just about to begin in earnest. Despite the good intentions, we got certain things wrong, in the early days of constant connectivity. Turns out there’s a ton of great music from that era, but our ears are still trained towards the new and novel. While there’s been a certain resurgence in appreciation of older sounds, thanks to a vibrant reissue culture, it’s still hard to get people to listen to tracks that are 15 minutes old, let alone 15 years.

Remixes are an integral way to bring attention back to worthy singles, yet too often they fail in their mission, as the remixes themselves are just as outdated as the tracks they’re trying to resuscitate. A great remixer, then, is in high demand, and truly doing Jah’s work, winding back the decks to hear great music in a fresh light, in a context that makes more sense for the current paradigm.
Drezo’s remix of Nas’ “Made You Look,” truly sounds fresh, despite the vintage source material. Drezo fleshes out Nas’ greasy street rhymes with leaden, heavy-hitting techno beats; bass music sub-wobble; and gritty, and grinding analog hardware basslines. Techno’s driving momentum meets a light, levitating house beat, managing to sound both cosmopolitan and post-apocalyptic, often in the same bar. "Made You Look"’s hip-hop swagger gives Drezo’s a chilled-out party vibe, while the techno beats keep things driving and pulsing towards the future.

youtube Taken individually, hip-hop’s 90 bpm thud is the sound of keeping your cool, even under fire, which is maybe part of what makes it so omnipresent in cities and urban centers, while techno and house have the techno-utopian mad rush of life amidst the machines, which can crack our sanity to shreds if we never unbuckle and unplug. Together, they suggest a way to be, in this world. Drezo’s banging, club-thumping “Made You Look” remix suggests a way to relate to the music that we love, dragging the past into the present. Despite what Ecclesiastes says, we here at We Are: The Guard have never heard anything quite like Drezo’s remix of “Made You Look.” Don’t sleep on this one, or you might have to wait another 15 years for another remix cycle.

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.