Here’s something weird: Living Colour, the great late-’80s and early-’90s New York rock band, have recorded a cover of the Notorious B.I.G. classic “Who Shot Ya,” the song that allegedly kicked off the whole Biggie/Tupac feud. They say that the cover was inspired by the recent gun violence and police shootings that have been plaguing America. They’ve also brought a bunch of people in to remix their cover, and they’ve collected those remixes on an new EP called Remix. One of those remixes, from producer Andre Betts, features appearances from rap elders Chuck D (of Public Enemy, duh), Black Thought (of the Roots, double duh), Pharoahe Monch (of Organized Konfusion, go listen to “Stress”), Prodigal Sunn (of Sunz Of Man, don’t feel too bad if you didn’t know that), and Kyle Mansa (I don’t know who that is). Below, listen to the remix and read a statement from Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, via Pitchfork.
Vernon Reid says:
Our version of “Who Shot Ya” was initially an organic outgrowth of pure fandom for the work of the brilliant Christopher Wallace. Corey would frequently sing the song during soundcheck, so we worked it up. But tragically Biggie’s question has taken on new and urgent significance over the last year. The amount of people who die on a daily basis because of gun violence is unacceptable in a civilized society. The disproportionate use of deadly force in communities of color is equally unacceptable in a civilized society. It inspired the idea to reach out to some of the most provocative voices in hip-hop to invite them to add their words to the track. We all feel paralyzed as to how we can meaningfully effect change, but at the least we can keep our voices raised in solidarity and not let this plight fade into the background until it happens again.
The Mixtape EP is out 9/9.