Ezra Koenig's Ray-Bans get Dissed in ILoveMakonnen's 'Down 4 So Long' Remix

Makonnen photographed in 2014.

Is there anyone getting as many remix requests right now as ILoveMakonnen? These remixes work two ways: through association with a rising youngster from Atlanta, an established rapper -- take, for example, Wiz Khalifa -- gets to boost his credibility and prove he keeps his ears open. Meanwhile Makonnen's profile continues to rise as his songs appear with big names on them.

However, the recently released "Down 4 So Long" remix is unusual by Makonnen's standards -- it features the rapper Despot and the singer Ezra Koenig (from the band Vampire Weekend) instead of a star like Drake. Hear the new track below.

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"Down 4 So Long" is representative of Makonnen's current sound: a syrupy beat paired with his strangely-intoned, seemingly off-the-cuff vocals. It's a confessional track: "I lost my friends in 07/ Every night I pray that they made it to heaven/ 'Cause I been going through the worst/ Having vision that I'm leaving in a hearse."

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Part of what sets Makonnen apart is that he doesn't seem to care about singing in tune -- this means he doesn't sound like any other vocalists out there. So it's a shock when Koenig shows up to sing-rap in his typically breezy style. Koenig makes light of his own troubles: "Went to the Hamptons and I thought I was the man/ Till Mary Kate said my Ray-Bans were off-brand." Things turn suddenly again when Koenig interpolates the chorus to Magic!'s hit "Rude."

The remix was a part of Red Bull Music Academy's 20 Before 15 series, which presented 20 new songs in advance of the new year.


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