what if dilla produced jay-z’s blueprint?

July 7, 2009

So several djs and mixtape “kings” release mashups using Jay-Z’s vocals like all the time.  Jay-Z and Radiohead.  Jay-Z and Dangermouse.  Jay-Z and Oasis.  Jay-Z and Fela Kuti (Nigerian Gangster).  Jay-Z and Linkin Park.  Jay-Z and Coldplay.

Jay-Z and (insert ANYTHING).  I even heard Jay-Z and The Verve…yeah that Bittersweet Symphony song:

I think the Black Album is one of the most remixed / mashed up rap albums of all time.  And if that’s not the case, then at least Jay is one of the most remixed rap artists of all time (sorry Lil Wayne…I’m strictly talking about efforts not initiated by the artist).

So in tradition of the mash-up, I came across something that showcases the distinct flavor of a true pioneering producer, J Dilla (R.I.P) and the seemingly versatile raps of Jay-Z.  The mash-up belongs to a DJ Jimmy Green and I think he puts forth a good effort in mixing the two contrasting styles together.  On the J Dilla side you have raw, boom blip (as I like to call it), Detroit gritty beats.  On the Jay-Z side you have laid back and variable, but often short rhymes that play off and on beats.

I was intrigued to come across this great mash-up of two totally different styles.  I think it’s solid.  I don’t know how much digging this DJ had to do because a lot of these Dilla beats are familiar, but I do applaud the attempt.


Give this a spin if you love J Dilla.  I think it’ll put a new spin (literally) on some great Dilla beats.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear Jay-Z’s voice on Dilla tracks.

I think some true Dilla heads would be offended that someone would dare to mix such a highly commercialized rapper with an underground legend.  But ehh…I think it works.

P.S.  I read (and disagreed to some degree) an interesting article on Dilla:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/jun/16/cult-j-dilla

Let me know what you think.



January 6, 2009

One of my co-workers stumbled across this website:


I was intrigued and decided to check it out.  So someone dared to mashup Radiohead with Jay-Z!  I don’t know what to think of it, but ehh it’s worth giving a spin if you like Radiohead.

Jaydiohead – Jay-Z x Radiohead

Download:  http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?4njfmnwz2yn

I have always respected Radiohead.  I think their music pushes the envelope of rock / electronic / alternative music.  What I found really intriguing is the way they released In Rainbows.  What other mega artist / band could release a digital album via download through their own website and let listeners determine whatever price they wanted?

I think this model should be adopted by struggling record labels who need to update their selling and releasing methodology.  Digital downloads via iTunes and the like are not profitable as it may seem b/c of Apple’s such heavy fees.  It is true that maybe only an internationally recognized band like Radiohead could pull this off because of a loyal, diverse, and widespread fanbase.  But wouldn’t it be interesting for artists to embrace this digital age instead of attempting to revitalize antique business models that only produce lack-luster record sales?  I heard Radiohead earned more profit from In Rainbows than any of their previous EMI releases.  Now that’s something to consider.

To take this into hip hop, wouldn’t it be amazing if say Jay-Z or NaS released a digital album on their own and ask people to pay whatever they wanted?

I guess this would never work due to how record labels give advances to each artist BEFORE they release an album.  I heard that record labels will give you say a 1 million dollar advance as they expect you to sell at least that much via record sales or concerts or promotions.  If you struggle, then they probably either take some of the advance back or they take all the rights of your songs so you don’t make a dime off airplay, album sales, etc.  They own you!  I heard this is the same in the modeling biz.

But ehh…

What I also really dig about Radiohead was their Reckoner Remix project:  http://radioheadremix.com/

They stripped down each part of their song Reckoner and allowed people to download each section to make their own remixes.  Then they post submitted remixes so that everyone can listen.  Now isn’t that novel?  They probably made a pretty penny doing this as I think each part costs 99 cents, but still, I think it’s really cool that they are open to hear what other people can do with their sounds.

Anywhos, although Jaydiohead is not as creative as I would like, it’s interesting to check out.

Viva La Hova

December 4, 2008

So I’m sure you may have heard this before since it’s been out for 2 months, but I’m really enjoying the mashup of Coldplay and Jay-Z.  Mick Boogie and Terry Urban are redic mash / mixtape fiends, and this is some quality work.  It ain’t just mixing a Jay-Z verse over looped samples; rather it is a great understanding of both genres.  Some the tracks are just sick…on The Reverse Fix, Mick Boogie clearly uses an old school 808 / Beastie Boys beat that you wouldn’t think would work with Coldplay’s Fix You.

What I admire most about this mashup is that Terry Urban and Mick Boogie actually got the blessings from both Jay and Coldplay.  PLUS if you visit Mick Boogie’s blog for Viva, he WANTS you to download for no charge:  http://www.vivalahova.com/.  I think one of his tracks actually got on the deluxe or whateva new version of Coldplay’s latest album on iTunes.

So if you haven’t downloaded this yet, please give it a shot.  The album sorta flows like a mixtape (lots of blends into each track), but if you want to hear something different, check it out: