What’s Good!? This week, I wanted to provide a list on some music that has been low key on some levels. The art of mashups is something that is usually seen with individual tracks, but sometimes there comes an album that produces a mashup that works so well that holds up to the original music. Yea, The Grey Album, is one mashup album that you probably know, but how many others can you name off the top? Not much probably, so that’s why I’m here to deliver a list of some albums that you might want to check out that blends a bunch of different genres. Open up your mind and peep some of the illest mashup albums released.
If you don’t already have this album, trust me, you need to get this shit now. While it isn’t exactly a true mashup album, the blending of styles between The Black Keys and the various Hip Hop artists that are featured on this album makes it feel as it is one, and it is nothing short of genius. With artists like Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), RZA, Ludacris, ODB, Q-Tip and Pharoahe Monch all contributing to the album, you know The Black Keys cooked up some soulful tracks for them to grace with their rhymes.
Jay-Z & Linkin Park: Collision Course
With Mike Shinoda and Jay-Z working together to piece together their own individual tracks, you know something good is going to be the product. While Linkin Park isn’t the most Hip Hop out of all the bands on the planet, Mike Shinoda has done work on the side creating his Fort Minor project which featured a mainly Hip Hop foundation. Unlike all the other albums on this list, this album was actually given production time by Jay-Z and Linkin Park together so it simply isn’t a DJ blending two individual tracks. If you didn’t check this album in the past, you definitely should now.
Stars & Stripes
For those familiar with the White Stripes know that their style is a blend between Blues and Alternative Rock, with a sound that is similar to The Black Keys at times. Take that and mix it with artists like Hov, Kanye, Biggie, 2Pac, Outkast, among a few others and you got this Stars & Stripes mashup. Out of all the independent albums on this list, this album sounds like it has the most quality production wise.
The Grey Album
As a fan of both The Beatles and Jay-Z there was no way I could skip this mashup album when I first heard of it. At first glance, they barely have anything in common, but truthfully their approach to their music sonically defined the generations in their own specific genres. As hyped up as this album has become over the years, it still holds up to what people come to expect from someone like Danger Mouse.
Feed The Animals
While I’m not that well versed in talking about Girl Talk’s work, what I’ve listened to and seen from this album needs to be mentioned within this conversation. When you talk about mashup albums around the internet, the name Girl Talk is the most known by fans of any genre. Girl Talk mixes Hip Hop with bands like Twisted Sister among many others. If you’re trying to peep something different, check out this album for some nice mixing
Wu-Tang vs The Beatles: Enter The Magical Mystery Chamber
A couple years ago, I stumbled upon this album randomly browsing the internet for some new music. From the cover alone, you can expect some trippy music to be made by blending the acapellas from Wu Tang and the music genius of The Beatles. In comparison to The Grey Album, this mashup isn’t as critically received by fans but the tracks are all definitely worth listening to.
Another Jay-Z inspired mashup album, yes, but this album has a completely different feel than the other two. If you’ve never listened to Weezer, they have a laid back Southern California beach type of sound. So if you can imagine Hov’s verses over those beats, it’s definitely a mixing of two different styles from opposite coasts. There’s something about hearing Hov’s December 4th acappela over Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So that works together so nicely. Yea this album is pretty old, but the unique sounding tracks will make it seem as if you’ve never heard Hov spit these verses before.
If you’ve ever wanted to hear Wu-Tang’s verses over some mellow beats, this album will provide that forsure. Fugazi, the other half of inspiration for this album is a post-hardcore band from the D.C. area that provides some dope instrumentals with heavy beats and slick guitar tracks. What is perfect between this mashup is the rawness that both Fugazi and Wu-Tang bring to their tracks and how well they are blended together. If you want a new take on Wu-Tang, check this album out.
This mashup album comes from Vancouver-based producer Tor, with samples from indie artist Sufjan Stevens. Tor takes verses from Outkast, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Aesop Rock and a few others and blend them together over beats that are completely original. Unlike most of the mashups that you hear, the beats still carry a hip-hop vibe in them. If you want to peep what’s on the album, one of the tracks that stands out is Dumb I Sound/ATLiens. By listening to that track, you can see where this album is headed with it’s sound and style and probably appeal to the hip hop head in you.
The Hood Internet: The Mixtape Volume Three
While their work is primarily underground and hardly known, the quality of their work definitely needs to be acknowledged. While I put their “The Mixtape Volume Three” up here, pretty much all of the mashup albums that they have created really deserve to be listened to by Hip Hop fans. The Hood Internet focuses on putting two different artists together in a “V.S.” type of setting in each track that makes it feel like an artist battle. With a steady amount of albums being released, this album and the rest of The Hood Internet’s discography deserves all of the attention that they get as mashup DJs.