It's an odd thing to state you were a fan of an artist since day one. Ask any "fan" and they'll all state "Yeah, I got into "artist" with "first album". Now, though you have no reason to believe me, you also don't have reason not to. What I'm rambling towards is the fact that I've been a Jay fan since "Reasonable Doubt" was first released. I watched his success' and his failure's (I'll never forgive Jay for "Sunshine") and witnessed Jay bow out with "The Black Album."
Rocafella have a knack for promotion (with Jay at least). His name seems to be stuck in our mouths every time Hip Hop is discussed. The label made a great decision during this heavy remixing/mixtape era; they released an acappella version of his last release. Guess what that gave birth to? Correct. Producers being album to make their own version.
The production upon "The Black Album" was fairly solid. With Jay's budget, you could easily expect that it would be. However, trying to get away from that and look at the material lyrics first enables other musical feels.
DJ Kno (of Cunninlynguists) decided to assemble "The White Album" and although there are some beats which don't compare to the original, Kno's twists on the whole work wonderfully. Some even better than what we originally heard.
The first exposure's fiending Internet fans managed to obtain of Kno's release were his renditions of "Lucifer" and "December 4th." Both are excellent. Though it's hard to take away from the originals, looking at them upon their own, you're able to embrace a different vibe. "Lucifer" feels considerably more haunting and sinister. "December 4th" is much more upbeat and happy.
"Change Clothes" I always had mixed feelings upon. But, Kno's rendition enabled a fresh feel which I feel worked better than the original. The very suave beat and slowed down Pharrel hook are smooth to say the least. Arguably my favourite Kno remix comes in the form of "99 Problems." The upbeat backdrop Kno provides is priceless.
A couple of tracks aren't as effective as the original. "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" (which was originally produced by Timbaland) is decent, but due to having the original so firmly solidified into my memory, this relaxed feel Kno presents doesn't do the track justice.
As far as remix albums go, Kno provided a brilliant alternative to the original. His beats are enveloping and properly mixed. Definitely worth checking if you enjoyed "The Black Album," maybe more so though if you didn't.