The track, which appears on Bleu’s sophomore studio album Tantra, has drawn mixed reviews, with some fans of the original speaking down on the remake and his attempt to recreate a classic. According to the 28-year-old, the recording was his way of showing respect for X’s influence and legacy, acknowledging that he’d never be able to replace the OG version.
“I understand that’s such a great song and it will never be duplicated no matter what by any artist!” the budding star wrote in a tweet that’s since been deleted. “Classic! I’m paying homage!”
Bleu also noted that his usage of the sample will ultimately benefit the Yonkers legend’s family, adding that he actually spoke to X in the weeks prior to his passing in 2021. “And mainly bringing more income to his estate at that!” he declared. “That’s what matters to me. Long Live X. We talked on the phone 2 weeks before his passing.”
Bleu released Tantra, the follow-up to his 2021 debut Moon Boy, on Friday (Nov. 11) through EMPIRE and his Moon Boy University label. Led by the single “Love in the Way” featuring Nicki Minaj, Tantra includes additional features from Fivio Foreign, Zayn, Kelly Rowland, French Montana, and Lucky Daye.
Rapper Tory Lanez recently took credit for the uptick in rap and R&B songs sampling records from the ’90s and ’00s, pointing to his popular Chixtape series. “It’s crazy… 6 years ago ni**as got mad at me cuz I would SAMPLE all the records that it Was NOT OKAY TO SAMPLE on the CHIXTAPES!,” the Canadian artist tweeted with an extended ellipsis. “Now I look up to a whole Generation of artist doing EXACTLY what I was doin .. chopping old Rnb/Pop samples and updating it to NOW sound.”
Apparently, the blow back from his modern-day take on “How’s It Going Down” isn’t deterring Bleu from continuing to push the record, as he recently alluded to plans to release an accompanying music video for the song. On Sunday (Nov. 13), the Alabama native posted a photo of himself wearing a Ruff Ryders t-shirt and a bandana alongside a still from the “How’s It Goin’ Down” visual on social media.