Major worlds of Tulsa music culture combine in a one-of-a-kind collaboration that reincarnates a 2017 instrumental fusion track into a bonafide 2019 hip-hop single. Titled “Cosmic Trigger (Remix)”, the new track is a true meeting of the minds. It stirs its respective creative juices with such a unique and effective mixer that it begs for more cross pollination across music scenes.
The original “Cosmic Trigger” was released on Combsy‘s genre-bending self-titled debut a couple of years back. It borrows from hip-hop sampling itself, with an opening phrase that gets chopped and looped into a motif. The overall composition sounds like some interplanetary spaghetti westerner taking a breather at a retrofuturist cocktail bar.
That character of class, sheen, and swagger gets amplified on the remix, which further brings “Cosmic Trigger” full circle by hosting two of Tulsa’s biggest names in hip-hop, Steph Simon and Keeng Cut. They trade verses and rock Combsy’s reimagined beat with the style and braggadocio of a couple of cosmic cowboys.
All three of these artists are hot right now. Combsy has been making big moves out of state while still making this blog’s 2018 best of the year list. Steph Simon was also on that list thanks to a monumental summer album dissecting the legacy of Black Wall Street, and Keeng Cut appears here fresh off of his acclaimed Flavio Cutatore LP and an incredible NonDoc write-up.
The new single, “Cosmic Trigger (Remix)”, dropped today on all major music platforms and can be streamed on Spotify below.
To call this new single a remix is accurate, but it risks underselling the collaborative efforts that went into it. Remixes are most commonly assembled by a DJ who pairs stems of the original recording with new production elements. The original artist usually has no creative input outside of the source material, and it’s rare to add lyrics from a different artist on top.
It’s more tempting to consider this a usual case of hip-hop sampling, but that, too, undersells the track. This isn’t just an instance of a producer finding a nice groove and adding a beat for someone to rap over. This is a back-and-forth collaboration.
In other words, like much of Combsy’s work, “Cosmic Trigger (Remix)” challenges the boundaries of music categorization.
According to Combsy founder Chris Combs, the whole idea started out with Steph Simon simply rapping over “Cosmic Trigger” as it originally appeared. Turning that spark into a full-fledged flame, Combsy proceeded to get a proper recording with Simon, then went to work on the beat.
The new single samples “Cosmic Trigger” in the best way by redefining it entirely, but it ventures even further to rewrite the structure so that it adheres to Simon’s chorus and verse work. It even adds entirely new pieces of live instrumentation.
The final piece of the puzzle, Combs said, was the addition of Keeng Cut, who goes a long way to giving the track bigger life.
The result is an outright banger of a single that doesn’t neatly fit into any particular hip-hop trend. Its straight piano chords are a throwback while its motorcycle-sounding growls press forward. Meanwhile, the chorus is timeless, representing the city of Tulsa and highlighting the epitome of what makes “Cosmic Trigger (Remix)” tick: when people truly collaborate, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.
aka Jarvix, the Chief Executive Weirdo of Make Oklahoma Weirder. His out-of-the-box music coverage has been published by the Oklahoma Gazette, KOSU, and The Oklahoman among others. He also makes DIY music as a solo multi-instrumentalist live looper in his spare time.