Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Song of the Day- Eighth Grade Edition

I never got around to "THE BANGING B-SIDE '. 

(You should already have this.)

I was reintroduced to this song over last summer by Boy 8-Bit's Mad Decent Podcast, where 8-bit sweetly looped the beat and played Jay-Z's verse amongst a bunch of minimal tech-house "i have no idea what the fuck genre it is." There's nothing next level anymore about mixing rap into a electronic set, particularly when its a Mad Decent podcast. It's almost expected when your founder is Diplo that everything is going to be influenced by hip-hop. I distinctly remember a few years ago hearing mixes by Ed Banger artists where they would drop a hip-hop track amongst all the "bangers"  and A-Trak's still at heart a hip-hop DJ. Essentially, the ties go deep. What struck me the most when I heard that mix is that the song drew no attention to itself as a rap song. 

I heard Mr. Oizo spin once and he dropped Snoop's "Beautiful" in the middle of his set. It validated the song in one respect and it served as a noticeable break from the rest of the set. Ed Banger was(/is? Their relative fall from grace is a whole other topic.) extremely image-conscious, to the point that they would flat out say that things like "So Me designs are just as important as the music." They were too "cool" for the old techno establishment and playing rap music was a way to say "Fuck you" to the image of techno being played in posh bottle clubs for Eurotrash douches only. They had an all-inclusive aesthetic, and rap was a part of this, just like the Marshall amps at Justice concerts incorporated rock elements. It was all part of a grand vision, and they wanted you to notice this vision included rap. 

Nowadays, it seems like there are a lot of rap songs that would fit into house sets. Electro guys are getting rappers over their beats to mixed results (cough, MSTRKRFT, cough), and some rappers/Black Eyed Peas are jumping onto the forefront of the electro bandwagon. I'm almost positive that if "Is That Your Chick?" was played at a party, a lot of people would think it was something crazy for Jay-Z to get on some kinda-dubstep track. Its BPM is a whopping 133, it mixes well with everthing with no intention of doing so. Tried it with dubstep, bmore, electro, whatever, it works. Normally, the DJ has to slow down the set and have a hip-hop section; but not here. It is at its core hip-hop that has a strong fast electronic influence without trying to be something its not. Its refreshing for me to hear 8-bit riding for some ACTUAL hip-hop in his sets, rather than trying to electrofy something that doesn't need to be fixed. 
And maybe above all else, it's an under-appreciated song that holds up really well, even if MEMPHIS BLEEK IS A HORRIBLE RAPPER. The song sounds like it could have come out TODAY, besides the fact that this is blatantly referenced:


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