Rupee is Working on a Remake of “Tempted to Touch”
Rupee is looking to capitalize on the music industry’s renewed interest into indigenous sounds like dancehall and soca by bringing back an old time sumtin’. “For a Caribbean artiste, right now, I think there’s no better time in the world to put out music,” he said while on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show. “The temperature is just absolutely perfect. The vibe, the energy; as we’ve identified. So many hits across the world and on Billboard have heavy Caribbean influences, man.”
He then revealed that he is working on a remake of his breakthrough hit “Tempted to Touch,” which he describes as “absolutely insane.” Co-host Shani Kulture asked if it would be a collaboration or just a remix of the original production. He replied:
“We’re contemplating right now. But we definitely know where it is sonically, musically. It’s essentially finished, so whether or not we need to do that collab, we’re gonna wait and see. ”
He then made reference to Cheat Codes & Dante Klein’s remake of Kevin Lyttle’s equally classic “Turn Me On,” and how much traction it gained (over 30 million views) online. (Comments at the 14:25 mark.)
While it is surprising that Rupee is choosing to remake an already great song, it isn’t shocking if you have been paying attention to the current reincarnation of dancehall/soca gems into mainstream pop jams, especially in North America. Drake, Fifth Harmony, French Montana, Sir Garry’s Grandson, the aforementioned Cheat Codes & Dante Klein and others have either-sampled or straight up covered songs from caribbean music’s mainstream bumrush in the late 90’s to early- to mid-aughts. Rupee choosing to do it himself (or by way of a collaboration) before anyone can sample it is commendable, for two reasons.
(Sean Paul recently did something like this, too, with his new song “Tek Weh Yuh Heart,” sampling the Bookshelf Riddim that people would associate with his classic “Deport Dem”.)
First, as was discussed throughout the interview, mainstream music’s focus is back on Caribbean music, and there’s no better time to reintroduce yourself to a new audience and build a buzz off the attention. An updated version of “Tempted to Touch” performed by himself would rebuild familiarity to those who were fans of the song and didn’t keep up with him when he “fell off the radar,” so to speak.
Secondly, his Cheat Codes example shows what can happen when you’re not spearheading your reestablishment, ironically. Frankly: Cheat Codes & Dante Klein’s version is a whitewashed cover. Just watch the video. People who aren’t familiar with the original would believe that the song belongs to the group. Especially those in the newer generation and from corners of the world that were out of reach pre-social media when “Turn Me On” reigned. And those are the people who Rupee is now trying to present himself to. So why not do it himself?
Nonetheless, I honestly can’t wait to hear how this re-imagined tune would sound. Watch the full interview above, where they discuss his beginnings, Rihanna, touring, and his new single “Tipsy.”