Mashups: from hobby to art form to controversy

February 8th, 2006 | by ian |

An interesting collection of musical mashups is posted online. Mashups are an ever popular form of musical expression albeit mostly illegal as they are derivatives of copyrighted material clearly exceeding the currently accepted boundaries of “fair use”. Nonetheless these “bootlegs” have been a growing aspect of musical culture spread by D.J.s around the world.

Probably the highest profile mashup case I’ve heard of is D.J. Danger Mouse’s Grey Album (a mix of the Beatle’s White Album and Jay-Z’s The Black Album) described in this “illegal art” exhibition.

Last night a buddy of mine introduced me to a hilarious video mashup entitled “Brokeback to the Future”. If you know the premise of Brokeback Mountain and you have seen Back to the Future watch this:

I’m looking forward to seeing how more artists are making use of commericially copyrighted materials which are nonetheless inextricable from our cultural experience. My feeling is that if you’ve been enough of a commerical success to become a significant cultural influence…you’re probably fair game. The controversy hasn’t even begun.

Some interesting tracks on the “Best of Bootie 2005″:
Party Ben – Paid For My Doorbell (Eric B. & Rakim vs. White Stripes)
Jay-R – S.L.H. (Sri Lanka High) (M.I.A. vs. The Ramones)
Party Ben – Somebody Rock Me (The Killers vs. The Clash)
Earworm – Since U Been Gahan (Kelly Clarkson vs. Rex The Dog vs. Depeche Mode)
Loo and Placido – Black Beatles (Beatles vs. Black-Eyed Peas vs. Ludacris vs. Kelis)
Brat – Big Shot Pimpin’ (Billy Joel vs. Jay-Z)
DJ John – It Takes Two To Kiss (Rob Base vs. Prince)
Tripp – Super Holla Tricka (Beastie Boys vs. Gwen Stefani vs. A. Skillz & Krafty Kutz)
Jay-R – My Other Car Is A Beatle (L’Trimm vs. Armand Van Helden vs. Beatles vs. Gary Numan)

And of course my personal favorite:
Jimmi Jammes – Sgt. Pepper’s Paradise (Beatles vs. Guns N’ Roses)

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