Earlier this year, Justin Bieber debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 with Justice and “Peaches,” respectively. After instantly going viral on TikTok and Twitter thanks to its catchy hook, featured artists, and an acclaimed NPR Tiny Desk performance, “Peaches” has remained consistent as one of the biggest songs of the spring.
Now, in an effort to breathe a second wave of life into the song, Usher, Snoop Dogg, and Ludacris have hopped on a new “Peaches” remix. The three icons replace the tack’s original featured artists: R&B maestros Daniel Caesar and GIVĒON. One of the best things about the original version of “Peaches” was how well the textures of Daniel and GIVĒON’s voices played against both the instrumental and Justin’s own voice. Unfortunately, that element is lost in this remix since only one of the new additions is a singer. On the other hand, this new version of “Peaches” truly brings the song into the R&B territory that it veered in and out of on the original track. Usher, Snoop, and Ludacris dig into the timeless feel of the production and use that energy to emulate the breeziest of Southern-influenced hip-hop and R&B. In fact, this remix makes it easy to forget that this is Justin’s song in the first place, and, honestly, it just might be better off that way.
To that point, this remix is basically the same song, just with new verses. Unfortunately, the production remains essentially unchanged (the drums do sound more pronounced, however.) which isn’t as surprising as it is disappointing. Justin moves from the driver’s seat to the backseat as he functions as a more of a hook boy than a lead artist on his own track. Ludacris opens the reimagined version of “Peaches” with a verse that emphasizes the sexual undertones of the peaches metaphor (“All these candy-coated kisses, you my strawberry shortcake/That ass’ll make me catch a charge and miss the court date”) while reveling in his effortless swagger. Usher is easily the standout guest artist between his sublime ad-libs on the first chorus and an excellent verse of his own. Usher’s voice is still in mint condition, and it’s awe-inspiring how he repeatedly proves that he can make any track completely his own. Moreover, references to the biggest real-life peach-growing hubs in Georgia make Usher’s verse even more perfect. It’s a shame that he essentially disappears after his verse because Snoop’s verse, for all of its fun weed references, makes for a dry end to the track. Furthermore, Usher’s ad-libs helped breathe new life into the hook, which has been beaten into the ground at this point. At best, the “Peaches” remix is both a reminder of how timeless Usher is and a sharper execution of the R&B influences of the original track. At worst, this remix is a lazy push for a few more weeks in the Top 10; this was a missed opportunity for new vocal arrangements, new production, etc. This remix will likely do what it needs to, but it doesn’t try to be anything more than just passable.