8 Pop Songs That Tried To Be Hella Urban—And Failed Miserably

Some things are better left as they are.

By James Dinh

We understand why producers love to add a hip hop heavyweight to an urban remix of a hit pop song. It’s a tactic that’s been around for years, typically done to give the number a little boost up the charts. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s always good. In fact, often times they just serve as a reminder that some things are better left as they are.

VH1 decided to take a look at some of the lamest attempts at pop songs that tried the urban thing out. So without further adieu, behold the remixes that absolutely no one ever asked for.

  1. will.i.am’s featuring Britney Spears, Hit Boy, Waka Flocka Flame, Lil Wayne and Diddy – “Scream & Shout” (Hit-Boy Remix)

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    During Britney Spears’ 2012 run on X Factor, the pop titan dropped a bouncy club collabo with will.i.am called “Scream & Shout,” which became a huge hit for the duo. And still, someone had the great idea of adding a ton of rappers like Lil Wayne and Waka Flocka Flame to create “the super black man remix” as Diddy likes to call it. You could have added all the rappers in the world, Hit-Boy, and that mix still would have been terrible. On the plus side, at least B looked super killer in the clip.

  2. Maroon 5 featuring Big Sean – “Maps” (Remix)

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    I don’t care how you want to spin it. Maroon 5’s remix of “Maps” featuring Big Sean is weird AF. It’s like someone said ’Let’s add a mediocre rapper, throw a few extra beats on top of an already generic tune and see what happens.’

  3. Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott and Da Brat – “Heartbreaker” (Desert Storm Remix)

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    Mariah Carey is, like, the queen of remixes. Unlike many pop stars, MC often invests in her remixes by offering fans a brand-new beat and vocals, which makes it sorta like a whole new song. She followed that exact formula in 1999 when she churned out a very urban remix of her pop hit “Heartbreaker” alongside Da Brat and Missy Elliot. Much love to the femcees and their bars, but this remix fails to capture the essence of the original.

  4. French Montana featuring Lana Del Rey, Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg – “All for You” (Odd Future Remix)

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    Urban mixes aren’t always a request from the artist or record label. Take a look at the Lana Del Rey “Video Games” sample on French Montana’s “All For You” featuring Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg. Some things just don’t mesh well.

  5. Madonna featuring Missy Elliott – “American Life” (American Dream Remix)

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    It was hard enough to listen to the original version of Madonna’s “American Life” —and the song’s follow-up remix with Missy Elliot didn’t help either. On the mix, our favorite missing-in-action rapper takes a stab as hype woman for the track, spitting bars early in on the remix, before Madonna makes a laughable attempt to rap herself. Unfortunately, it all just sounds disorganized and miscalculated.

  6. Ciara featuring T.I. – “I Bet” (Remix)

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    Ciara dished out several versions of her heartbreak anthem “I Bet.” There was a remix courtesy of R3hab, a mix with Nick Jonas and then a makeover with T.I.. Someone at her label probably must have thought it’d be best to service different mixes to different radio formats, but the mix with the Rubberband Man just strips the track of its vulnerability and adds additional production that samples hip-hop group Ghost Town DJ’s iconic “My Boo.”

  7. Meghan Trainor featuring Justin Bieber – “All About that Bass” (MAEJOR Remix)

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    As much as we were itching for new Biebster music after 2013’s Journals, this mix of Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass” didn’t do much for us, especially when the singer repeatedly boasts “We know that sh-t ain’t real.” Some said the same about your Calvin Klein ads, JB.

  8. Kelly Rowland featuring Nelly – “Commander” (Rico Love Urban Remix)

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    Not many folks give her credit for this, but Kelly Rowland was one of the first artists to hop on an electro-dance wave half a decade ago with David Guetta on the EDM-charged banger, “Commander.” Former collaborator Nelly, who hit it big with Kelly on “Dilemma,” gave the track a huge makeover with an urban mix that proved as forgettable as any ol’ 2010 R&B slow burner track can get.