With the current rap recession and the record label budget drought, I have a theory that corporate america that will end up being the “white knight” (ah, the irony) for many artists and ambitious projects from here on out….

Remember, in the 90’s, St. Ides was demonized for hawking that liquid-crack via Ice Cube, Geto Boys, Biggie etc? But now we appreciate that the tracks were actually good, and that the Crooked-I was funding artists who weren’t getting Covergirl and K-Swiss ads back then. Last year, Nike paid the big bucks that no one else would to get Just Blaze and Juelz Santana together again, to get Nas/Kanye/Rakim/KRS/and Premier together, and to throw a party with all of the above for their Air Force One anniversary.

So this month, Smirnoff and Cornerstone Promotions (props to Chris Atlas and Rob Stone) are making art and commerce work together for our benefit. To promote the new Smirnoff Signature Mix drinks, they’ve commissioned Common and Just Blaze to remake “The Light,” Q-tip and Cool n Dre to remake Tribe’s “Midnight,” and KRS-One and DJ Premier to remake “Criminal Minded.”

All of the artists will be perform their classics live at the Smirnoff/Cornerstone launch party on Feb, 26th. And then the actual remakes will be available as a free download on Smirnoff.com.

PS: the homie Rik Cordero and Three21Media will also be involved in this project with some goodies to soon come : )

commonjust blaze

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