The latest remix of Nas’s “The Don” adds to what was already an impressive pedigree. Due to appear on the grizzled New York rap maestro’s upcoming Life Is Good (out July 17 on Def Jam), the original track combines elements of Jamaican dancehall and vintage NYC boom-bap, with co-production from the late Heavy D. Earlier today, the Quietus posted a remix by Massive Attack, the British trip-hop pioneers who have been crafting expansively sinister, sometimes rap-based tracks since a few years before Illmatic.
Massive Attack’s seven-minute reworking of “The Don” is in keeping with the duo’s late-night M.O., and if it’s hard to improve on the original, the two versions will probably work equally well depending on the listener’s mood. Both, happily, put Nas’s fearsome rapping in the foreground, though the remix veers off into a synth- and bass-oriented ether by the end. Along with Rick Ross team-up “Accident Murderers,” last summer’s head-turning “Nasty,” and the forcefully earnest “Daughters,” it’s another reason to hold out hope for the Don’s new LP.