Is This Jay-Z and Radiohead Mash-Up Really Necessary?

Brand new to the internet this week is the latest effort from DJ Minty Fresh Beats, otherwise known as 22-year old New Yorker Max Tannone. Tannone has harnessed the eternal power of Jay-Z's The Black Album for his own evil-doing, choosing Radiohead as his partner in crime in creating this week's mash-up sensation Jaydiohead. The effort is all there, he employs a few different Radiohead albums - OK Computer, Kid A and In Rainbows - to accomplish his mashing. It's a novel concept, the mash-up, and Tannone shows some pretty slick innovation in combining two totally different artists to create his Franken-album. When listening to this, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Tannone - as I will refer to him, since his corny DJ moniker sounds like his 8 year old niece chose it for him - picked Jay-Z and Radiohead since they lend themselves to such a great pun of an album name, Jaydiohead. Two questions still remain: do we need another Jay-Z mash-up? And why must I bitch so much about a free album?

It takes some talent to create a mash-up, and Tannone certainly has that, no one is questioning his creative ability (but they are questioning his DJ name... and by "they," I mean me). He mixes The Jigga Man's vocals over Radiohead's complex instrumentals, even letting Thom Yorke have a shot at some vocals. Unfortunately for Tannone, the mash-up bar was set high thanks to Brian Burton (as DJ Danger Mouse) and his 2004 epic The Grey Album, a brilliant and ballsy mix of Jay-Z's The Black Album with The Beatles' The White Album. All other mash-ups pale in comparison to The Grey Album, especially that shit Linkin Park attempted years back. But that's unfair to say, because anything Linkin Park touches turns to shit, so of course their mash-up was awful. It featured their music. It had no chance.

Tannone has made his Jaydiohead free to listeners, and by saying this, I will officially end my bitchfest about his work. It's not his fault that mash-ups are a tricky beast, but just don't tell Brian Burton that. I hope in the future we move past Hova's The Black Album and choose some different vocals to play with. I am sure Tha Carter III will slowly emerge as a candidate for mash-ups in the near future. I would suggest The Clipse's 2006 effort Hell Hath No Fury as a fine mash-up candidate. At any rate, Jaydiohead can be downloaded, free of charge, here.

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Michael Lopez