I knew someone was gonna do it, just didn’t know it’d be me. The theme song of The Karate Kid‘s been begging for a mash-up for god knows how long. And the other night, it just hit me, Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” seemed like the most logical and most relevant fit.
Joe Esposito’s “You’re The Best Around” is kind of a wierd tune. In the context of the movie, the song works almost perfectly. You hear it in the film, and you think man this song is incredible. You get so pumped. I’m the best… around! You’re all ready to crane kick your neighbor.
Then you hear it by itself, and like a lot of cheesy 80s pop rock, it’s not very good. This is the problem I faced when I started working on mashing Drake’s vocals with the track. It’s like, how can I make an artist who sounds so good on his original track sound right on this completely different style of music?
There’s also a big tempo difference between the two songs, as Drake’s track is somewhere around 81bpm, while Esposito’s is roughly 94. So stylically and groove-wise, it’s a big change. To be perfectly honest, I chopped almost every other bar of the Drake acapella just to get him in the pocket. He also rhymes in a sing-songy style that melodically jibes with the original song’s melody. Rather than autotuning the autotune, which just felt almost a little too techno robotic, I opted to make my own little edits on those parts.
And finally, there really is no acapella for the Drake song. I grabbed a DIY acapella that someone with a clever ear for EQ (or a Waves plug-in) uploaded online, but if you listen real closely you can still hear the kicks and snares from the original Drake song. But hey, we work with what we have.