Mash-ups and bridge-makers

by phil on Saturday Jan 17, 2009 1:40 AM
mainfeed, new mediums are not bad

I've been really digging lately Minty Fresh Beats' Jaydiohead (2009), which, as the name suggests, is a mashup of Jay-Z and Radiohead. It's a fine piece of artistry that harks back to DJ Danger Mouse's Grey Album (2004), which is a mash-up of Jay-Z's Black Album and The Beatles White Album. In 2004, I participated in "coordinated electronic civil disobedience" by posting mp3s of the The Grey Album on my site. This was in response to EMI asking DJ Danger Mouse to stop distributing his project. Jaydiohead, on the other hand, appears to be legit and blessed by the powers that be.

With all of the playthroughs I've given Jaydiohead and The Grey Album I'm now very familiar with Jay-Z's Black Album without ever listening to it on its own. And that is a good thing. DJ Danger Mouse (a black guy) and Minty Fresh Beats (a white guy) have served as bridge-makers for rap. By standing on the shoulders of music that their listeners already know in-and-out (how many times have I looped Radiohead and The Beatles), they can then create exposure for a totally different genre.

I really wouldn't have gotten into the source Jay-Z albums otherwise. I stopped listening to hip-hop when I left school and stopped watching MTV. Hip-hop is simply not around me; my friends don't really listen to it. So thank you Minty Fresh Beats. And Girl Talk as well.

Here is "99 Athems" off of Jaydiohead:

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