Affinity for Mashing

And it has been written/spoken about before. But not by me. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably endured a tweet or two praising some ridiculous combination of songs you may or may not have heard. If you don’t know what I’m talking about: a musical mashup is created when you combing two more more songs. My first mashup love was all the way back in 2004 (I had to google the year, I swear I got the mp3s in like 2003) with The Grey Album.

Now at the time I was probably only familiar with, I don’t know, four Jay Z songs. But The Beatles! I grew up with that sonic gold. And in my opinion, that is the magic of mashing: when you’re familiar with one song (for better or for worse) and parts of it are slammed up with pieces of a different song (that you might not otherwise listen to) and something crazy and wonderful is created. Vocals of “99 problems” over “Helter Skelter”? Yes please (see above video).

But that was 10 years ago. A lot of mashing has happened since then. Girl Talk blew up with Feed The Animals, and then All Day, but that is some next level mashing. An art that only The White Panda has been able to rival with Bearly Legal. Do yourself a favor and visit this All Day website that breaks down each artist/song used (the site is a little wonky but it works in firefox). Then go put it on a playlist for your next workout/run, because it is free (like most mashups, for legal reasons more than anything, I’m sure).

The Hood Internet releases a “mixtape” (hate that term) once a year and it is always impressive. I’m not sure which came first, their mashup of Phoenix and R.Kelly or the real thing. But who cares, because it is great (or horrible, depending on who you are). Unsurprisingly there is a subreddit for mashups at /r/mashups. I enjoy only one out of about 20 submissions there (as quality can be crude) but sometimes you’ll get a gem.  Like this one I found last year, for instance:

Mashing isn’t for everyone. I’ve lost friends and family members over my love for the art. That’s not true, but some people really don’t want to hear their favorite songs paired with anything. Which is totally understandable.

Some of my favorite surprises are when two individual songs that I really don’t enjoy on their own (for instance, Cashin’ Out and Dreaming) are mashed into greatness:

Or Bandz A Make Her Dance and Dirty Talk, two songs that I’d never listen to unless mashed together. Behold:

Last year I was so inspired that I tried making my own, combing a total of eight songs and audio from the American classic Pootie Tang. In 3 minutes.

I followed that up with a Daft Punk / Das Racist (Das Punk? Daft Racist?) mashup that wasn’t quite as good (and I pulled from Soundcloud, because they’ve been cracking down on mashups in general, deleting accounts permanently).

My point is: I hope mashups live on. They are fun, and they are the only reason I know any Ludacris lyrics or ever have Kesha stuck in my head. And I’m okay with that.