Is the ‘34+35’ remix Ariana Grande’s first miss of the roaring ‘20s?

The 34+35 remix has finally entered into the musical atmosphere and controversial opinions are circulating.

Ariana Grande recently dropped the highly anticipated remix to her hit song “34+35” featuring Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion on Jan. 15th. Based on the features alone, this sounds like a recipe for a hit song with the potential to even outsell the original track. But just a week after the remix was released, all buzz surrounding the song has died down. When a legend like Grande flops this bad, everyone is left wondering, “Why?”. Simply put, this wasn’t a remix. This was the original “34+35” song with two features slapped on it for garnish.

If you couldn’t already tell, I am beyond disappointed in this remix, especially coming from Grande. She has easily made herself a powerhouse in the pop industry with one of the best work ethics anyone has ever seen. In the span of two years, Grande released four projects. Each of them is unique in their own right and more importantly, each is quality work.

So knowing her past history of dedication to her craft, the “34+35” remix almost seems out of place. The remix feels lazy and rushed, with no extra verse from Grande and two out-of-place verses from Doja and Megan. It was surprising to see Grande do this remix at all. She expressed in several interviews that her label originally wanted rappers on “34+35” but she fought against it because she wanted to do the song solo. Based on her words, it makes the “34+35” remix seem like a cash grab rather than a well-produced remix. And hey, I’m all about securing the bag this year, but did it really have to come at the expense of the music?

The song starts off with Grande’s original first verse that sets the tone for the rest of the song. She starts off by singing, “You might think I’m crazy, the way I’ve been craving. If I put it quite plainly, just give me them babies.” By the end of the first few lyrics, you should begin to know what “34+35”means. Then she takes us into the familiar chorus of the song followed by Doja Cat’s verse. I won’t even lie to y’all, Doja skated on this beat. The lyrics were just right and she played around with the inflection in her voice to keep the audience interested. Toward the end of her verse, her words got a little hard to understand, but I still enjoyed the theatrics of it.

After another round of the familiar chorus, Megan’s verse came in. The best way to describe her verse is like forcing a puzzle piece into the wrong position. It fits, but does it really? Megan is known for talking about sexual topics in a more aggressive manner, but that is not what a song like “34+35” calls for. This song needed clever lyrics and innuendos rather than obvious choices. And well… Megan made the obvious choices. Toward the end of her verse, Megan says “34, 35 we can 69 it,” and this took me all the way out of her verse. Any lyricist could’ve written that lyric, and I know she could’ve come up with better.

Overall, the “34+35” remix gets a meh/10 from me, but maybe that’s just how remixes are nowadays. Over the past few years, I’ve been noticing a trend of artists slapping a few features on a song and calling it a remix. From the “XS (Remix)” by Rina Sawayama to even the “Old Town Road” remixes of 2019, artists have chosen cheap cash grabs instead of actual remixes.

Back in the day, remixes meant entirely different versions of the songs. Just the other day, I was listening to my favorite album, “The Velvet Rope,” by Janet Jackson and I discovered some of her remixes. As the remixes of my favorite songs started playing, my jaw hit the floor when I noticed that the arrangements were completely different.

For example, Jackson’s song “Go Deep” is a personal favorite of mine that has a mellow undertone and sultry vocals. But on the remix of “Go Deep,” Jackson overhauls her soft vocals to create a song that has an ‘80s disco feel. She turned a soft R&B song into a dance song, and I need these new girls to take notes.

A modern example of an iconic remix is the “Savage” remix by Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé. Not only did Megan add two brand new verses to the song, the chorus also follows a different format due to Beyoncé’s vocals in the background. In early 2020, the “Savage” remix received a well-deserved No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. So, to be frankly honest, if your remix is not going to be up to par with the “Savage” remix, it might be best to keep it in the vault.

I love me some Ariana Grande, but this was a chop from me.

Edited by Chloe Konrad | ckonrad@themaneater.com

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