Cory Enemy & Chris Bushnell, “Cali”

Notorious B.I.G.’s “Goin’ Back to Cali” has been referenced, sampled, flipped, and remixed more times than the Spider-Man movies. It’s not a bad thing: Biggie, as far as East Coast hip-hop goes, is a God and his verses about lounging in the California vibes are legendary. That’s why whenever a new remix comes out from Christopher Wallace’s very familiar catalog, there’s an air of skepticism. In all honesty, despite how much we love Biggie Smalls, how many other ways can we hear his unique voice before in a new light?

Enter Chris Bushnell. An artist we’ve covered in the past, he’s a young DJ and producer whose approach is very dynamic and draws from a wide basin of ideas having influences in deep house, grime, progressive, and even harder electro styles. Needless to say, Bushnell – an artist who knows all about the sunny lifestyle – leaves a nice thumbprint on Wallace’s legacy with his recent edit “Cali.”

“Cali,” which marks his first official collaboration with Los Angeles future house producer Cory Enemy, is a high octane, fist-pumping banger that uses Biggie Smalls’ voice as a compass. Allowing the vocal hook to punctuate the beat versus just having his verses dominate the track as a whole, the remix draws more comparison to tracks like Tazer’s “Wet Dollars”; it’s not there to say, “Hey – this is Biggie Smalls. Look how *hip* we are.” The use of Christopher Wallace is delicate and sparing. This gives life to the track and lets it breathe on its own. Yes, it pays homage, but when combined the future house bass line, which is flangered and rough and grooving, and the subtle touches of piano and sax, the edit demonstrates a level of intricacy that goes beyond a simple redux designed for blog hits and Hype Machine hearts. This is a track designed to tell us there’s still new ways to pay respect to an icon like Biggie; to re-think the structure of played out genres like future house; or, quite honestly, to evaluate the quality of a banger.

Listen to Cory Enemy and Chris Bushnell’s “Cali” below.

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