A long time ago, someone thought it would be a good idea to mix up rap and rock a la Run DMC & Aerosmith. The result was the extremely lackluster soundtrack to the film Judgment Night, which I have been fortunate enough to never witness. While I enjoyed the Dinosaur Jr & Del combo as well as the De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub contribution, the rest was hell on my ears. While I am not asking for a sequel to Judgment Night, I do think there needs to be another shot at combining rappers with groups outside of the genre. This time, the heavy metal and grunge bs should be bypassed. Get some real talented cats on the indie tip in the studio with some rappers who would mesh with their style and create some gumbo type ish.
Several rap acts have been utilizing singers outside of the hip-hop nation to throw down on their tracks- Ghostface, Jedi Mind Tricks, The Roots. When out the other night the group Grayskul noted that Andrea Zollo, singer from the group Pretty Girls Make Graves was on the hook. Crossing over into other genres and pulling outsiders in is exactly what hip-hop needs to boost sales and create a brand new spark. Would this effort get fans who would have no interest in hip-hop music in the past to maybe download a single with one of their fave singers and perhaps delve deeper into an artist’s catalogue?
Here is part one of my proposal for a possible
Judgement Night 2 (Insert Title Here) Soundtrack. At the end of part two I will have a link to a mix which will contain a track from all the artists that would be included.
Common & Chocolate Genius
Chocolate Genius (Marc Anthony Thompson) has been in the game for a minute and I am surprised he has not made an appearance on a hip-hop track a la Cody Chestnutt, because is a better writer than Chestnutt and has a more impressive resume. His track “My Mom” from his debut album is some deep stuff about his childhood home and his mother, who is struggling with illness and can’t remember his name. Common’s flow would not overwhelm Chocolate’s musical creation and the two would be able to throw down some serious lyrics. Could they create another “I Used To Love H.E.R.”?
Arcade Fire & Pharoahe Monch
Pharoahe Monch has one of the tightest lyricists in hip-hop, and could even be described as the Scorsese of the hip-hop world thanks to his cinematic flow. Remember “Stray Bullet” and “Invetro”? Pharoahe’s biggest hit, “Simon Says,” had an apocalyptic, winter feel that Arcade Fire could provide. Don’t have to worry about pesky samples, just have the guys in AF get busy. Their debut Funeral was some ahead of its time ish that will be fresh 10-15 years from now much like Organized Konfusion’s trilogy. Witnessing Arcade Fire live for the first time when they were opening for the Unicorns is still one of the best live show experiences I ever had. Quite simply,they are a force to be reckoned with. I was lucky enough to play some midnight b-ball after the show with The Unicorns and Win Butler of Arcade Fire. The dude is like 8 ft tall and slam dunked on me. Well, not on me cause I got the fuck out of the way. 2 powerhouses=money in the bank and a vast improvement from Biohazard and Onyx.
Xiu Xiu & RA The Rugged Man
RA The Rugged Man has dropped some seriously fucked up stuff in the past. Xiu Xiu has dropped some seriously fucked up stuff in the past. Jamie Stewart is a master of crafting pop songs that hark back to the 80’s, but can also manifest grim and startling tracks such as “Support Our Troops Oh!”. Could Xiu Xiu provide a backdrop for RA to provide an expansion of the best verse from 2006 that he dropped on “Uncommon Valor” ? I would like to say the answer is yes. Dude told me he created “Clowne Towne” in like 15 minutes.
Joseph Arthur & MF Grimm
Joseph Arthur is one of the dopest singer/songwriters in the game today if not the dopest. I have been following his career for years and have rarely been disappointed. He has gotten more well deserved attention as of late. In the past his albums would be critically acclaimed but would receive little recognition sales wise. I drove up to see him in Detroit at The Shelter a few years ago and there were most likely 30 people there that night, who were all thrown out early for hip-hop night. Joseph is capable of forming a one man band when performing live and is able to create songs on the spot by looping whatever he plays, be it a beat off his guitar or a hook. MF Grimm dropped my fave album of 2006 and his simple, yet poetic rhyme style would go quite nicely with Arthur. Peep some of the production styles that Grimm chose for his triple CD,American Hunger. Some of it sounded raw, some sounded like 50’s pop, some sounded like an orchestra (“Master Builders”), and some sounded like Kate Bush was planning on dropping in the studio.
Eels & Sean Price
Eels can rock the fuck out. When I saw them a long time back E came to the stage being carried on his boy’s shoulders as he ventured through the crowd. Talk about an entrance. When I worked as a counselor in a group home on the Northside of Pittsburgh I used to bump Eels’ album Souljacker right along with some 90’s era hip-hop. Believe it or not, the reaction it got was pretty damn positive. Eels have covered Missy’s “Get Ur Freak On” as part of their live show and I imagine they would dig actually getting to craft a track for a hip-hop artist as wild as Sean P. Both artists display a sense of humor and energy that is unmatched and could probably drop a track that would make you grin and flip the fuck out at the same time. Picture “Boom Bye Yeah” with more of a rock twist.