Suede the Remix God Talks Successes, Backlashes & Creating Viral Recording Stars [Interview]
With the ability to go viral at the push of a button, Suede the Remix God has built a status as one of the go-to-personalities for the best video memes on the web.
One of the year’s biggest memes was the undeniable smash hit, “Milds & That ‘Yac,” featuring former NFL superstar Shannon Sharpe celebrating his Denver Broncos’ win with a tried-and-true tradition of black culture. The move was already one of the most hilarious moments on television, but to the eye of Atlanta producer and DJ, Suede the Remix God, this was gold in the field being shined on by the sun.
READ: Shirley Caesar Sues Suede the Remix God Over "UNameIt!" Challenge
By now, you’re already familiar with the name and successes of Suede the Remix God, as he has continued to give us classics that cross over from viral sensation to chart-topping success. One of his most infamous gifts beside the forever-traditionally-must-play-jam, “UNameIt!” with Shirley Caesar has been Danielle Bregoli. Better known now as Bhad Bharbie, the recently signed Atlantic Records artist has Suede to thank for her success and bankroll.
WATCH: Snoop Dogg Accepts #UNameItChallenge And Creates New Song
Flipping her now-ubiquitous catchphrase, “Cash me outside, how bow dah?” — Suede turned it into a smash that even appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 at no. 88. The 26-year-old is not shying away from the spotlight. Through developing his own coral of artists, building his reputation within the music industry and staying active on these here timelines — Suede the Remix God eked out some time to talk with @Okayplayer about facing Shirley Caesar in court, creating deals for internet stars and shares his plans for the upcoming 2018 season. Enjoy! — @KevitoClark
Okayplayer: When you remixed Shannon Sharpe’s soundbite it gained over 100K likes just on Twitter alone. How and when did you know the clip was worth remixing and what prompted you to add the “If a frog had pockets” vocal sample?
Suede the Remix God: As soon as I heard Shannon say what he said, I knew immediately I had to do something with it. I’m a big sports fan and a fan of Undisputed on Fox, so that was a plus for me to mix it up. It was an absolute blessing to have another record reach the masses. I had no idea it would do what it is doing still!
Oh, and the “frog had pockets” sample was originally to throw people off because I knew it would make everyone laugh and make it more interesting being that it had nothing to do with Black & Milds and Cognac [laughs].
OKP: Prior to releasing “Milds With That ‘Yac,” you’ve had quite a few hits on your hand. The “Cash Me Outside” one, “Reclaiming My Time,” and the Thanksgiving favorite: “You Name It!”). How do you find the memes you use in your remixes? What is the process to create the songs and videos?
S: [Laughs] Just like everyone else I scroll down my timeline to see what the new funny song or video is. And also just like everyone else I find interesting memes and clips that I can create material with. Other times my fans are blowing me up to do something that they think is worthy enough. The process is easy for me but sometimes it can be time consuming, but it is what I love to do. I’ll study the clips that I want to use, create a fire track to throw it on and edit the videos based on the song I make.
OKP: Pastor Shirley Caesar once planned to sue you and Empire Distribution for releasing the #UNameItChallenge on iTunes. Now, almost a year later, what were your thoughts on the criticisms from the church community and what is the worst criticism or backlash you’ve received from creating a remix?
S: Funny enough, Shirley and her new attorney reached out to my management in August stating that she would like to meet me. I haven’t heard anything since then, but my thoughts are still beyond belief after all that. Everything worked out in my favor from winning the two injunctions that were filed to just moving on and making more hits.
My team and I are just wanting everything to work fairly between both parties. I wanted to drop a whole album with her [laughs]. As for the backlash and criticism, man, I’m immune to it [laughs]. There were people mad on her side but didn’t know the entire situation in which I’ll keep in the past because we already won that situation. However, we can’t pretend like I don’t have 1,000 churches playing it during service.
A lot of times, people just want to be seen or heard, but I do accept constructive criticism. It is the only way to grow! I would like to release an official video after I took the original one down out of respect, yes. Am I going to? Well, you would have to ask Pastor Shirley. We definitely don’t want to get blindsided again, but if she is down [to do it] then I am too! At the end of the day, I made a seasonal classic that’ll be played every Thanksgiving… I take pride in that.
OKP: What other obstacles have you overcome to get to this stage in your career?
S: [Laughs] Besides being sued for $5 million and criticized like a dog, well, the most important thing I’ve learned [from this] is no matter if I’m up or down I’ll find a way. I’ve been promised a lot from major artists to major TV platforms about projects, collaborations and sometimes things don’t fall through the way you expect. Instead of getting upset with people because they lie to you or forget about you, I’ll just keep being successful. You can’t hide from success. They’ll come around eventually if you’re consistent. That’s my number one priority: being consistent.
OKP: One of your first contributions to the world of virality happened back in 2012 when you remixed Dr. Dre and Eminem’s “Forgot About Dre” for Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson’s “Ratchet Girl Anthem”. Now, Emmanuel has gone on to become a cast member on MTV’s Wild ‘N Out and had a cameo in Ice Cube’s Ride Along. How did you connect with the Hudson Brothers and have you worked with them since?
S: [Laughs] You guys really did some homework. “Eman” was my roommate during freshman year at Albany State University. Shout out to the class of 2014. We would stay up during the night, freestyling with friends to my beats until the café opened at 6:00 o’clock and then go eat breakfast. I haven’t heard from him in years, but he has become a great comedian and actor, and I’m proud of all of his success.
OKP: At that time, you were also credited as DJ Suede Satanna, true? How did you get your start as a producer and remixer? What inspired you to change your name to Suede the Remix God?
S: Santanna stemmed from the legendary Carlos Santana [laughs]. I’m a fan of his music, so I just added the name at the time. I changed the name once people started to really enjoy what I do which is remixing. I remixed the default iPhone ringtone and everybody from here in the US to Spain had it—probably still do [laughs]. Once I saw I had the power to touch other countries I knew that I was on to something.
OKP: Your remix of Danielle Bregoli’s “Cash Me Outside” soundbite from The Dr. Phil Show debuted at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and helped to launch her career as Bhad Bharbie. What do you personally think of her rise from living meme to recording artist? Has Atlantic Records ever reached out to you to help with her album?
S: I wish her and her team the best of success. Honestly, I haven’t heard anything [from them] or Atlantic or had a conversation with her team. I don’t condone bad behavior or disrespecting my parents of any nature for attention, but I never knock anyone’s hustle to start a career.
OKP: You’ve released several songs with the viral dancing star Backpack Kid and Russell Got Barzz. How did you meet and what can we expect from you guys in the future?
S: I have to say that Backpack Kid, Dani and Dannah and Russell are my favorites. Backpack Kid is like a wild younger brother. We met on Instagram, but now we are in the studio every week. He’s gotten a lot better and his dance “Flossing” is everywhere. We just finished the song for it. Even the NFL players use it as a touchdown dance. Myself and King Bach have spoken about making some stuff. Desibanks, B. Simone, LalaSZAHands, Mr. Hotspot, Karlous Miller and Justina Valentine from MTV’s Wild ‘N Out have also been in talks.
OKP: Back in August, you released your Undefeated EP on Fast Life Entertainment, a label started by Jullian Boothe (Slip-’N-Slide Records). How has having a record deal changed the trajectory of your career?
S: I love my team, man. Jullian is an awesome guy and like a brother. We talk almost everyday and he is consistent. I have had a previous situation where I was in a bad place, as far as management goes, but I kept grinding until I met Jullian. We started out as good friends, talking business and whatnot, but once “UNameIt” dropped, he knew that I needed serious guidance and support.
OKP: In Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam,” the song begins with a sample of a little girl praying from Vine. How did hearing something like that—where an artist was sampling a meme from the Internet—impact you?
S: I believe that Kanye is a genius. Not only for that and that song, of course it is a classic, but for being ahead of the curve. When I first heard it I was shocked that ‘Ye would use that in an actual song. Memes and social media are taking over the game lowkey. Memes can turn into a viral sensation, which drives people to a particular record or person. So, the answer to that is yes, it impact myself greatly and is a welcomed problem to have.
OKP: Since your remixes have ended up on the Billboard charts and major playlists such as Spotify’s RapCaviar — do you think the future of music is streamable memes? What are your own current musical goals?
S: Absolutely, absolutely. I believe that memes are made to make people laugh and laughing will always be in style. Who doesn’t need a good laugh? I have fans in my DMs and email inboxes every day saying how much I make their situation in life better by making them laugh or inspiring them as a young DJ or producer.
My ultimate goal in life is to become a young DJ Khaled. I met him through Jullian after the BET Hip-Hop Awards at a Wing Stop in Miami. Khaled is an energetic, positive, dope role model for the culture. That’s what I am. I would love to work with major artists in the future, but if what I am doing is working then I won’t stop at all.
OKP: Memes and challenges are commonly used as promotional tools for artists like Migos and Rae Sremmurd. But what do you think about this trend? Do you believe it hurts the purity of memes within internet culture?
S: Nah, not at all. With major artists such as that it is only right for them and other people to use memes like that. It creates an image of how powerful or how influential one can be. I’ve seen memes make irrelevant people relevant in some cases. Trust me [laughs].
OKP: Lastly, what is the most exciting comment that you’ve received from a celebrity or an influencer?
S: [Laughs] The dopest comment that I’ve recently got from somebody was the homie Nick Cannon. Nick follows me online and he told me how dope my remix for “Milds With That ‘Yac” was. Nick will always win because he has a strong relationship with the younger generation and that’s why I respect him. Hopefully, we will meet [in person] some day. Wale also showed me love before. I was also able to DJ and tour with him for his “Shine” tour this previous summer, so I count all my blessings and continue to pay it forward with this pure fire.
Melanie McClain is a New York-based writer whose work has been featured at Saint Heron, Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound and Complex. Follow her (and us!) on Twitter @Melknee.