Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jay-Z's Beautiful Mooching

For the rockers and the rappers out there

Jay-Z is one of the most overrated rappers alive, in my opinion. As a businessman, however, it's hard to argue against his prowess. Fairly recently, a couple of Jay-Z mash up albums have come out.

If you're not aware of the term "mash up," it's when 2 or more songs are taken by a mash up artist, and the fragments of the song are used to make a new one. For example, you could take the instrumental line for Muse's "Hysteria" and cover it with the vocal tracks of Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath". That would be a very basic mash up; most decent ones are far more complex.

Anyway, these albums were done by a company called Cookin' Soul, who makes its name with such productions. What's special about these is that they're full albums of Jay-Z + rock artist. Coldplay and Oasis, to be exact. Cookin' Soul released the Jay-Z/Oasis one a while back, whereas the Jay-Z/Coldplay one is quite recent.

They're nothing to write home about (although apparently they're worth writing a blog about), but they're a really fun listen. Mash ups aren't made to be lyrically profound (it's Jay-Z). They aren't made to blow you away instrumentally (it's Oasis and Coldplay). They're made to be a fun listen. They're made to sit back and appreciate the work of the mash up artist and marvel at how its possible with the use of computers to do what they do. Mainly, if you know the music that's being mashed beforehand, it's basically like hearing a brand new song, but with recognizable hooks, rhymes, and/or effects. When that point of recognition reaches you, it becomes a whole new listen. I have no doubt that the three artists used in these mash ups were chosen because of their recongizable qualities.

If you have the time/boredom, check 'em out. They're free.

OJAYZIS (Jay-Z + Oasis)

Viva La Hova (Jay-Z + Coldplay)

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