That Purple Bastard: Houston's Reluctant "Remix King"

"Can I call myself a Remix King when nobody knows who the fuck I am?"

--Purple Bastard

Purple Bastard has a beard. Or maybe A Beard has a purple bastard? Not sure. No matter. It's not important. What is is that he stands out, even though it's the least overwhelming STANDS OUT of all. And that's maybe the most apt scenario that serves as a microcosm of someone's existence of all. Or something. (Or nothing, duh.)

Purple Bastard is a mantis-thin, light-bulb-bright man. He is 30 years old, married, from Houston. He does not have any children, and he works a day job at Whole Foods and [lots more sentences], probably. All of those things are lovely details and certainly a part of a story, but not this one, at least not obviously.

Recently, he had his name mentioned in a flattering way in an interview. The interviewee, a local rapper named D3, referred to Bastard as "the Remix King of Houston." Within that particular circle, the designation could maybe be made to fit; PB has remixed several tapes for local acts (most enjoyably Nasty Nique's Breakfast of Bastards). But eventually it irked Bastard.

"Can I really call myself a 'Remix King' when I'm not consistently putting out material," rhetorically asks Bastard, remembering the moment. "Can I call myself a 'Remix King' when I'm not also remixing major artists? Can I call myself a 'Remix King' when nobody knows who the fuck I am? The answer to all of these questions was ultimately no."

The solution: "I started doing this Remix Wednesday series remixing tracks from major artists to get my name out there and keep it out there by putting out a new remix every week."

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So that's what this is; an examining of the tracks that Purple Bastard has released thus far for #RemixWednesdays, coming after one of his dubs, a re-imagining of the gonzo Danny Brown's "Lie4," earned him his first solid traction outside of the Houston market.

PB included some very insightful commentary from with each track. Free for download too.

Danny Brown, "Lie4"

That Purple Bastard: First let it be known that I am not a huge Danny Brown fan. I don't dislike his music, but it's real hit or miss with me, so I figured I would challenge myself to make a Danny Brown remix that I, or even a more conservative "head" than myself, could jam unabashedly.

I tried out a bunch of samples before I landed on a Rhodes piano sample from an old cut from the '60s mod group The Zombies. It was real subtle and subdued and I felt it was a good compliment to Brown's over-the-top delivery. From there I just laid the drum patterns and then dropped in little extras here in there.

I challenge my listeners to find the snippet from "Number 1 Stunna" and "Man In the Mirror." I'll send you a free T-shirt if you can do it.

Ca$h Out, "Cashin' Out"

The first time I heard the track by the Atlanta rapper, I thought 2 things: 1.) This song is catchy as hell; 2.) This dude is kind of like a ratchet 3 Stacks in his delivery. I started messing with different samples and came on a Parliament track that fit pretty well.

I decided to stick with the Parliament sample because the dude is from Atlanta and I thought that the juxtapositon of a ratchet one-hit wonder from there against a group that built Atlanta's sound was pretty interesting. Plus, like I said, dude sounds kind of like Andre 3000, so in making this track I tried to make it kind of like Outkast at their funky best.

I also dropped some short hyper-samples in there to compliment the lyrics, see if you can catch the split-second sample from the movie Rocky at the end of the 3rd verse.

Three 6 Mafia feat. UGK, "Sippin' On Some Syrup (Sizzurp)"

TPB: It's no secret that I'm a huge Three 6 Mafia fan, so I was really excited about doing this one. One thing I have always tried to do through my production is pay homage to DJ Screw; he is one of my single biggest influences musically.

So, as Juicy J would say, "I make 'Trippy Shit'." I really love the original track, but I really wanted to take it to the next level in terms of making it music for people who are either fucked up on a lot of drugs or are just wondering what it sounds like to be fucked up on a lot of drugs. When I really want to do some spaced-out music, I frequently sample ambient music to start which is what I did in this case.

I believe I sampled Vangelis for this, one of my favorite ambient composers; [he] scored Blade Runner among other films in the '80s. I stuck with trap drums because I like them and I wanted to stay true to the spirit of the original somewhat. I put some different effects on the vocals here and there and I made the beat-drops somewhat irregular to enhance the "trippy-ness" of the track.

Overall, I think it came out sounding much darker and bleaker than the original, fitting if you consider the circumstances of Pimp C's death.

Follow Purple Bastard on Twitter at @PurpleBastard.

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