The Five Greatest Hip-Hop Clean Versions of All Time
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There's a reason Arrested Development's fourth season came fully-bleeped despite being on Netflix, and it's the same reason some people prefer their Die Hard replays on basic cable and their "Gold Digger" MP3s ripped from a Wal-Mart version of Late Registration. Sometimes the censored version is just better, or at least just funnier.
And, as our colleagues at Riverfront Times noted, sometimes you just need something that you can listen to with children that doesn't drive you to commit murder. Try these perfunctorily cleaned-up versions of not-even-a-little-clean hip hop classics.
By Chaz Kangas
5. Xzibit - "Paparazzi"
Yo dawg, we heard you like Xzibit. Years before he was hosting "Pimp My Ride" or starring alongside Nicolas Cage, Mr. X-to-the-Z was making some classic west-coast hip-hop. His breakout single "Paparazzi" is a masterpiece without a doubt, but the clean version sounds like it was possibly recorded weeks after the original when Xzibit had an even stronger mastery of his flow, making for an even smoother slice at rappers only in the game for the money and the fame.
4. Ying Yang Twins - "Wait (The Whisper Song)"
Hey, how you doing little momma let me whisper in your ear, tell you something that you might like to hear that contains no foul language. The unedited version of "Wait (The Whisper Song)" is so absurdly filthy, even by Ying Yang Twins standards, that there's actually two clean edits of the song, one with sound effects and this squeaky-clean one with the lyrics almost completely rewritten and re-performed. The sinister purring here of members Kaine and D-Roc suggests innuendo so vague ("Wait till I show you this") that it almost sounds dirtier than the original.
3. Nelly - "Country Grammar (Hot S***)"
We don't think we're telling any tales out of school when we say that the hook on the clean version of Nelly's "Country Grammar" is far superior. The St. Louis superstar's original breakout summer jam, "Country Grammar (Hot S***)" just had a more memorable radio hook which made the song more fun. Think about it, in the summer of 2000 as you watch the Survivor finale, do you recall having more fun saying "boom boom baby" or "street-sweeper baby"?
2. Wu-Tang Clan - "Shame On a Nuh"
' It's one of the most galvanizing beats that Rza ever produced, boasting some of the most quotable lines that the greatest group in rap ever recorded, so what better way to crank up the absurd fun meter than making a radio edit of a song that would otherwise never get mainstream play by replacing the offensive language with guttural outbursts? "Shame on a Nuh" is a great group grunt-along that everybody in the car can get down with!
1. Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule - "Can I Get A..."
Looking back on the standout cut from theRush Hour
soundtrack, fifteen years later, Jay-Z has to know that the clean version of "Can I Get A..." will always be head and shoulders about its source material. Perhaps it's the lightning-quick fades of the video that made the "what what" echoes seem so slick (or the cameo of the late Chris Penn as the bartender, either one), but the phrase "Can I Get A What What?" will far and away be the more memorable Jigga calling card in pop culture.
Plus, wouldn't you rather tell somebody "what what" than the explicit alternative anyway? Keep positive, you guys. Now let's have some summer fun. Bounce with me with me with me.
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