The Gospel According to Gloger

By Ben Glogler Staff Columnist

The song comes on and immediately you recognize the booming voice as the one and only Notorious B.I.G. The words pulsate through your gut with the consistency of a snare drum as Cristopher George Wallace A.K.A. Biggie Smalls assails you with the haunting story of his youth in the classic song “Party and Bullsh**.” Yet, something else can be heard in the background. Something whimsical, fruity and fanciful. Something that sounds like cherry lip gloss, blond hair and short-shorts. Yes, this, my friends, is the remix of Hannah Montana’s “Party in the USA;” an unlikely mash up of gats and butterflies. It is nothing short of mind blowing.

While I am overtly proud of using my column to once again voice my support of “Party in the USA,” I yet again bring it up to not only serve the greatly needed public service of informing you that such a song exists, but to instead call attention to the abundance of remixes now flooding popular culture (sorry, parents, this one’s not really for you, but be sure to stay tuned for the life lesson following).

From the release of DJ Hero, to Lil Wayne’s No Ceilings mix-tape, Jay Z’s “Forever Young” or the Youtube sensation Super Mash Bros, the music industry is bursting at its wardrobe malfunction-prone seams with remixes and DJ culture. An art once reserved for the “underground” of music culture has been thrust into the limelight as countless artists continue to sample and elaborate upon each other’s work.
Any music industry that hopes to turn profits will inherently reflect the ideals and personality of it consumers. Yet I believe that the sudden rise in popularity of remixes can be attributed to something much greater than simple monetary gains, and after delving beneath the auto-tune laden exterior of many remixes and mash ups, I’ve found these jams have much more to teach us than to simply make money and engage with free-spirited women (a truly valuable lesson in its own right), but to mirror the changing social atmosphere of both CHS and society as a whole.

If anything, remixes are proof that we already have all we need. Society, especially the one of this area, often tricks individuals into believing that they must change themselves to be happy. Too often, CHS students, and even their parents, spend every waking minute trying to shape themselves in irregular ways and become something they’re not; the result is unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Yet, in the remix, we see something drastically different: the reconfiguring of an already present foundation to create something new, beautiful and straight up pumping, and it is from this that we must take heed.

Whether you’re a meandering Bob Dylan tune, a provocative and swaggering Drake or an absentminded and floating Kid Cudi, remixes prove that you don’t have to change who you are to be great. In remembering to stay true to our original selves, and then adding new and interesting dimensions from there, we follow the lead of the remix and are better because of it.

Yet, ironically, at the same time remixes also serve as a musical reminder of just how great the weird and alien can be. Remixes twist and transform an accepted form until it is not only vastly different from its predecessor, but maybe even better. A remix would be considered trash if it changed nothing from the original song, and likewise, how much cooler did you find that mash-up when something totally unexpected and unique was thrown into it?

While Biggie most likely never thought he would collaborate with a girl who moves her hips like yeah, there’s something to be said about a song that so effortlessly combines two greatly contrasting worlds. This remix, in its hodgepodge of glitter and bullet proof vests, blonde West Coast care-freeness and hardcore East Coast robustness makes null and void the stereotypes often labeled on both of the mash-ups artists. While initially serving the purpose of getting us to put our hands up and party, this mash-up ultimately shows just how accepting and impartial our society has become and it comes as no surprise that such a song would have such widespread appeal.

In fact, the ethos of this song is evident in our very halls. CHS, just like the artists in this song, is easy to break down into cliques and stereotypes. Yet, this only provides a distant, passing glance of our student body and fails to grasp the true identity of a CHS student: an individual who is beyond screwed and chopped, and breaks countless stereotypes. Composed of these students, CHS can be viewed as a remixed version of the classic high school, one that takes a proven system and adds a twist on it to create a truly unique, endearing and liberating environment.