Mash Up Posse
by Winston "Stone" Ford
The term ???mashup??? garnered a good deal of attention following the uproar over 2004???s The Grey Album by DJ Danger Mouse. Although the album was never officially released, it helped to push the mashup sound out from under the direction of a handful of DJ???s and producers in the UK, where it was created, and into the pop music spotlight. Since then, everyone from Madonna to Paul McCartney to Linkin Park has taken an active interest in this hybrid music. Some of the latest and most intriguing mashup offerings come courtesy of Jon Moskowitz out of Brooklyn, NY.
Moskowitz worked with producers DJ Cappel and Smitty to release Blue Eyes Meets Bed-Stuy, a daring combination of verses from Biggie and beats created from samples of Frank Sinatra???s music. (WHAT?!) Although the pairing can feel a bit forced at times, the album produces a few cuts that are just irresistible. The first song deftly blends vocals from ???Juicy??? with a sliced and diced version of ???New York, New York???. Guaranteed goose bumps for any New Yorker or east coast hip hop head. Another standout is track three which layers ???Nasty Boy??? lyrics over bass-laden samples of ???For Every Man There???s a Woman.??? Listen for chops of Sinatra???s horns interspersed throughout???so fresh.
As crazy as the BIG and Sinatra union is, it is not quite as outlandish as another of Moskowtiz??? projects, Queensbridge Meets Kingston. Released in 2004, this DJ Swindle produced EP matches Mobb Deep vocals with samples of Bob Marley???s more well-known tracks. These tracks really bang. Something about the sweetness and familiarity of Marley???s music under Prodigy???s sharp delivery really hits home. The production does not seem to be as intricate or layered as that on Blue Eyes, but Marley???s melodies hardly need any embellishment. The highlight of the album is most definitely the ???Quiet Storm???/???Stir it Up??? blend???pure fire.