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Shane O'Neil

Bridging Hip-Hop & EDM: How 9 Artists Tackled B.O.B.'s Hit 'Back & Forth'

As a musician, it's vital to challenge yourself both inside and outside of the studio. Determining your strengths and weaknesses will open doors to success that might have remained closed otherwise, and thanks to the hastened pace of today's music culture, artists are being challenged more than ever to break out of their shells.

B.o.B. has challenged himself and the culture of hip-hop throughout his entire career, and it only takes a quick skim through his discography to certify his development as a rapper, singer and songwriter.

The critical acclaim for his talents only strengthens his fortitude as a musician. As hip-hop continues to grow and manifest itself into other genres, it’s easy to see why artists seek to collaborate with the hip-hop icon in any way possible.

B.o.B.’s recent single “Back & Forth” has just received a dynamic overhaul thanks to six unique EDM artists, and each of their remixes truly sheds a light on the power of ingenuity in the music scene today.

EDM.com spoke with Boehm, Exige, Henry Land, Jayceeoh & B-Sides, Young Bombs, Dave Fogg and Warren Peace & Chris Cox about their latest remixes, asking them all to answer the same two questions about their love for hip-hop and how they challenged themselves in each of their new remixes.

Check out the remix EP and mini-interview below:

Henry Land:

1. What do you love the most about hip-hop/rap music?

The aspect I love most in hip-hop and rap is the variation of vocal performances that the artists use to express the message behind the lyrics.

2. How did you challenge yourself when creating your remix?

I tried to go for a more aggressive remix than usual, but at the same time kept the vocal breakdowns melodic. The funky guitar reminded me of my days playing in a band, so i wanted to create a big band vibe over some of the parts. I had also just recently watched the movie Whiplash, which i got very inspired by, so a big challenge for me was to create the drum buildup for the drop.

Purchase "Back & Forth (Henry Land Remix)" here!

Young Bombs:

1. What do you love the most about hip-hop/rap music?

We both grew up on hip-hop. The whole golden era played a huge roll in our early music years. Artists like Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Gangstarr, A Tribe Called Quest and so many more had a huge impact on us growing up and still do. The music just felt so raw and it came from such a real place. There is a such a strong correlation between hip-hop and dance music. Both are beat driven genres, centered around drum machines, synthesizers and samples and for awhile they were rebellious towards the mainstream in their own way. Now both are being accepted into the pop world and even amalgamated at times. For example our "My Love" and "Nobody To Love" remixes have strong hip-hop elements in the verses with more traditional "house" drops. People are so open minded nowadays and a lot of that is due to hip-hop pushing those boundaries. Hip-hop also caused a major social climate shift. We can't even tell you how many times we say "yo", "dope" and "chill" daily. If spirit animals could be words, these would be ours.

2. How did you challenge yourself when creating your remix?

When we made this remix, we had just got back from touring and we were still buzzing from the energy at the shows. We really wanted to capture that feeling of a nightclub at 3 am when everyone's drunk on the dance floor going crazy. Also, we wanted to expand on the disco flavor and make something totally fresh but with a feeling of nostalgia. Taking new sounds and trying to make them sound like old disco samples was a challenge and we hope we succeeded! The trick is always to not repeat yourself without alienating your fans at the same time. Thankfully B.o.B's vocals were unique and soulful which made our job easy. Also, pulled pork is incredible. We really wish we had a way of segueing into that from the last sentence. But we don't. It just had to be said.

Purchase "Back & Forth (Young Bombs Remix)" here!

Jayceeoh:

1. What do you love the most about hip-hop/rap music?

hip-hop is the reason I started making music and DJing. The raw energy that hip-hop provokes is honestly responsible for the spark in almost everything that I do.

2. How did you challenge yourself when creating your remix?

With this remix I tried to create something that was outside of my normal style and comfort zone. I am most known for producing high energy electronic bass music, but when I heard the 'Back & Forth' vocals, I knew I wanted to take it in a different direction. I felt a touch of Daft Punk inspiration in the tune, so I wanted to enhance that vibe in my own way. B-Sides and I vocoded the hook and chopped it over some clean 808 programming to achieve that. On the verses we wanted to keep it smooth and open with nice pulsing chord stabs. We are very happy with the end product and think both ours and B.o.B's fans will feel this one.

Purchase "Back & Forth (Jayceeoh & B-Sides Remix)" here!

Dave Fogg, Warren Peace, & Chris Cox:

1. What do you love the most about hip-hop/rap music?

What we love the most about hip-hop/rap music is watching it grow from its beginnings to the lightning fast progression it’s taken on today...

2. How did you challenge yourself when creating your remix?

We challenged ourself when creating this remix, by ending up with not only a different take musically, but also in vocal structure. We took verse lyrics and built them into a new chorus, we think it gives the song some fresh feels...

Purchase "Back & Forth (Dave Fogg, Warren Peace, & Chris Cox Remix)" here!

Boehm:

1. What do you love the most about hip-hop/rap music?

I grew up with hip hop/rap music and I start my music producer career doing hip-hop beats so I've always been a fan of this culture. I really love the attitude of rap music and the fact that you can build a story and say almost whatever you want in the lyrics. No other genre of music gives the same liberty of speaking and you can barely find another genre that tell you so many things in only 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

2. How did you challenge yourself when creating your remix?

It was a nice challenge for me. I wanted to give a more electronic/dance touch without altering the rap flow and the original vibe. Just wanted to make a version that includes all of B.o.B's verses and could be played by DJs without slowing down too much the tempo.

Purchase "Back & Forth (Boehm Remix)" here!

Exige:

1. What do you love the most about hip-hop/rap music?

The slower tempo and relaxed vibes.

2. How did you challenge yourself when creating your remix?

Translating the original into a 126 bpm dance track and realizing the sound that I had in mind.

Purchase "Back & Forth (Exige Remix)" here!

Follow B.o.B.:

facebook.com/Bobatl
twitter.com/Bobatl
soundcloud.com/Bobatl

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