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Mashup Madness

Keegan Forte is blogger from New York City. On her Blog, Music Is My Forte, she writes about concerts and music industry happenings. You can follow her on Twitter at @keeganforte.

Yes, I’m word playing on “March Madness,” but can you blame me? With all the recent hype over “mash-ups” in the music world, they’re just as exciting as picking the winning college basketball team and rolling in the dough (oh, and gloating to your co-workers)!

Mash-ups come in all shapes and sizes. Some are awesome, some are not so awesome and some make you wonder why a person thinks they’re awesome enough to mix together such peculiarly paired songs.

I’m going to share with you here, five of my favorite mash-ups. While I’m well aware that they have become so plentiful and easy to create, that any old Joe Shmo wannabe DJ could think he has a good ear, when in reality it sounds like they’re trying entirely too hard – I stand by the few that I mention below.

5. “Islands is the Limit” – Notorious B.I.G vs. The XX – A group that calls themselves Wait What has merged the entire The XX album with a number of Notorious B.I.G songs. “Islands is the Limit” is Biggie’s “Sky’s the Limit” seamlessly merged with the ever so calming “Islands” by The XX. I guess we could call it alternative hip/hop? Giving a whole new feel to both songs, I find myself with it on repeat.

4. “Seasons of Biggie” by The Cast of Rent vs. Notorious B.I.G by Whole-Z – I’ve never been a Biggie fanatic, but who can resist this? As someone who has seen RENT 4 times I was seriously intrigued when first hearing this mix. The result? My head bobs while my heart burns because as it brings you back to those struggling city people singing their life stories to you, Biggie adds a whole other level that’s sure to make you respect the group who cleverly put these two unlikely songs together.

3. “Wonderwall of Broken Songs” – Green Day vs. Oasis vs. Travis – When it comes to mash-ups, this one’s a classic. Created by Party Ben, a San Francisco DJ and Producer, it’s as though these songs were made for each other (“Wonderwall,” by Oasis, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” by Green Day and, “Writing To Reach You” by Travis”). Once you hit the peak of one you get thrown into the next and so on and so on as to never get bored. Eminem’s version of “Dream On,” or (“Sing For The Moment”) randomly brings the over four minute long song to an end, which I see as pointless, BUT, whether you’re a fan of any of the 3 artists or none, I can almost guarantee you’ll enjoy what’s been done here!

2. “Nineteen Oh What” – Jason Derulo featuring Imogen Heap vs. Phoenix – To keep things fresh on both parts of these incessantly played tunes, “1901” and “Whatcha Say” blend effortlessly to make this mash-up something you won’t want to turn off.

1. “United State of Pop 2009 (Blame It On The Pop) by DJ Earworm – It’s hard to argue with me on this one. A mix of the top 25 Billboard Hits of 2009, it’s brilliant, hands “down.”

As the number of mash-ups on the Internet grow in size, these five assure me that it is in fact an established genre of music. These mash-up moguls are creative in nature and have constructed a whole new division of the music industry. I say keep ‘em coming!

Keegan Forte I want you to leave here everyday with a good sound in your ears with something new to listen to, a song that defines your day or week or life, a quote that will get you by and, of course, a desire to come back for more. As it says in Time Out New York’s book “1,000 Songs To Change Your Life:” “Music is everywhere we turn, unavoidable and inescapable. It provides a soundtrack for adolescence and adulthood, Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, relationships and break-ups, lives and deaths. Its simple ubiquity makes it the cultural air that we breathe.” …see full bio

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