Hood Internet Talks Mashups and Turning Artists You Hate Into Artists You Love
Photo by Ebru Yildiz
Do you mess with Rihanna? O.T. Genasis? Crystal Castles? Fujiya & Miyagi? Who in the world could rock such a crazy mix of musical stylings?
Well, Chicago mashup duo the Hood Internet, for one. And you probably have love for every genre on the planet too. Maybe you just aren't listening to it the right way.
The Hood Internet will soon showcase its indie-electro-hip-pop at Bardot Miami, and you can go see for yourself just how great ILoveMakonnen sounds over Penguin Prison.
Meanwhile, we at New Times caught up with THI's Steve Reidell.
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Crossfade: Has your role as mashup artist affected your life as a music fan?
Steve: ABX and I both have a pretty long history of playing in bands and playing instruments. Noticing similarities is something we've always done. But now I think we've almost been poisoned. We try not to think about music too much in the realm of "Oh, that could be sampled," but it's always in the back of your mind. Something sounds good, you might put it into a Spotify playlist for later to see if it works. We had a bunch of those, we wrote them all down, and we just started making them.
People used to self-identify with their music a lot more rigidly, but not so much since mashups began making a lot of noise. Are mashups partially the cause? Or is it all just because the internet?
I don't think it's so much mashup culture. I think it does help turn people on to other stuff, but I think it's much wider than that. It's just the internet opening up the floodgates for everyone to have everything. There are still metalheads and hip-hop heads, people that like one style of music, and that's more of a stylistic thing. Maybe their fashion identifies with it. But so many more people listen to a variety, and I think it's because of the time we've all grown up in. I really find joy in that. Even people that say they hate a certain kind of music, I think they secretly like it a little.
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Poor country music.
That's the number-one thing that people say they hate the most. There's this thing that hit the internet a couple of weeks ago where some YouTube guy with a terrible name, Sir Mashalot or something, he took six of today's Hot Country hits and mashed them up, not in the traditional way -- I hesitate to use the word "traditional" -- but not in the way that we would. He took the intro from one song and verses from other songs. Aww, jeez, it was amazing.
I've seen people do that with Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" and Katy Perry's "California Gurls." It's the same song, and then you think about how Dr. Luke wrote both.
Those are the scientists that found the formula for what people like, what the general public are just going to respond to easily. It's not like the pop radio public is ready to listen to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. It's not going to work out.
If those pop-music songwriting scientists people distill music into a universal theory, are you disrupting it?
People get locked into certain sounds. In a lot of electronic music, you hear the same synthesizer sounds being used, the same builds; with Katy Perry and Ke$ha, the exact same arrangements and compositions. I think by sampling a wide range of stuff, it offers up a reimagination to the nth degree. You're like, "Well, this melody could work with this thing underneath. It probably wouldn't be on the radio necessarily, but it's really beautiful. Check it out."
Do people tell you they hate an artist but like your mashup?
Once in a while, yeah, someone comments something like that. "Oh, this is better than the original." Or, "I can't stand this artist or this song, but I can listen to this." It's the same thing I said about country music. When someone really hates something, has such a distaste for it, it's great because it's a strong emotional reaction like, "I do not fuck with this."
You have the power to change their minds.
That's the idea, opening up people's ears to music. Maybe if they thought they hated something and that's all it took, maybe they liked it the whole time.
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The Hood Internet. Friday, February 13. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m., and tickets cost $15 to $20 plus fees via showclix.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-567-5570, or visit bardotmiami.com.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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