The 45 King & Rakim

Mark the 45 King's first Rakim remix was made for Kool
DJ Red Alert, seen above with a young Rakim.
Rakim's birthday is this Saturday. Rakim week starts now.

If you've listened to Funkmaster Flex much over the past year, there's a decent chance you heard him accompanied on air by the inimitable Kool DJ Red Alert, and if you heard one of those broadcasts there's an even better chance you heard Mark the 45 King's previously unreleased "I Know You Got Soul" remix played on Hot 97 ... in 2022. The track, previously played on Red Alert's Kiss FM more than three decades ago, was practically in Flex's regular rotation last year — a beautiful thing.

This got me thinking about the 45 King's other Rakim remixes, of which I knew there were at least a couple. Mark was behind the boards for the extended remixes of Eric B & Rakim's "Microphone Fiend" and "The R" off Follow the Leader, and it's even possible he had a(n uncredited) hand in the original versions as well. Additionally, he produced the club mix of "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em," previously shared on this site in the first post of the first ever Rakim week. Then there was a white label release in 2000 for the remix of a song called "Feelin' You," which as far as I can tell was never otherwise released, thereby making the remix the original mix commercially speaking. Of course, before the last of those remixes dropped, the 45 King produced "How I Get Down" off The Master.

That makes no fewer than six 45 King-produced Rakim tracks, a nice EP's worth of music from two of the most transformational hip-hop artists of all time. (Let's not forget 45 King produced "Hard Knock Life" and "Stan" in addition to what's essentially a full discography of once-obscure now-familiar breakbeats.) If that sounds like the basis for a great playlist, then you're in luck as that's exactly what I've put together below. 


Chris Ward said...

Have you seen the 45 King mix of The R for sale anywhere online? I cannot find this mix on discogs.

$bin♦ said...

Nah never!

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