SMASHIN’ UP

DJ Ayres: Get It Twisted/Ghostbusters

From The Rub’s It’s the Motherf***ing Remix

DJ Eleven: Kiss You Back/She Wants to Move/The Creator/What U Waitin’ 4

From The Rub’s It’s the Motherf***ing Remix

Cormega: 62′ Pick Up

From The Testament

I don’t want to sound like a hater (but hey, I get labeled it anyways) but I really hope 2004 proved to be the year of the mash-up and that in 2005, we find some new ground to move to. It’s not like I think mash-ups are inherently wack but jesus, once you have The Grey Album on top of everyone’s “best of” lists for the year, once you have The New Yorker talking about “Frontin’ On Debra” – people: this has officially transformed from trend to fad and that usually means its time to retire it like Von Dutch caps and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

But goddamnit, something like The Rub’s It’s the Motherf***ing Remix comes out and try as I might to resist, I always seem to make room for just one or two more cuts to enjoy. I highlighted two of the better remixes off the CD (just for the record, many of the remixes on here are cute but forgettable – such is the nature of the mash-up).

DJ Ayres tackles Mobb Deep’s “Get It Twisted,” itself a mash-up-influenced cut (using Thomas Dolby’s cult hit, “She Blinded Me With Science”). Ayres stays in an ’80s mode, flipping Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters Theme” behind QBs infamous duo. This works, I mean, really works. How come no one ever thought to flip this before? (Prediction: I see a Killa Kam mixtape in ’05 that uses this instrumental again).

DJ Eleven has his numbers down – juggling no less than four songs at once, working with the acapellas of Digital Underground’s “Kiss You Back,” and the Jungle Bros.’ “What U Waitin’ 4” and the instrumentals of N.E.R.D.’s “She Wants To Move” and Pete Rock’s “The Creator.” Personally, I wasn’t all that into the N.E.R.D. splicing but when the bassline bounce of “The Creator” kicks in, I started grinning like a fool. Good times, good times.

Here’s my thing with mash-ups – sometimes, they feel too forced, like the DJ is trying to jam it down our throats, i.e. “hey, listen to me, dude! I’m putting Biggie’s lyrics over Yaz! I’m dope!” Sometimes, it’s just better to be laid back about it and let the track do the talking. That’s why I’m feeling Cormega’s “62′ Pick Up,” a song off his buried late ’90s CD, The Testament (which is about to get released, finally, in February). Anyone old enough to remember the ’80s will pick up on the loop: it’s the Hill Street Blues theme, one of the all-time GREAT t.v. themes. You really can’t go wrong with it. Cormega’s not a great MC – he lacks a commanding voice and his flow is awkward but with the right production, he can still come off compelling.

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