Mash-up music has been growing more and more popular since the 1990's as advancements in technology have made creating them affordable to anyone who possessed some extra cash. With this rise in popularity, we have noticed countless artists rise straight to the top of electronic mash-up music and for good reason. Max Tannone, formerly known as Minty Fresh Beats, happens to be one of those artists who might not be "big time", however he does have a pretty huge shadow within the remix and mash-up community.
For me, I first noticed his music back in 2009 after his debut release, Jaydiohead. What's beautiful about that record is that it catered to not just fans of hip-hop music but to fans of progressive music as well. As a huge Radiohead fan, I was obviously quite enthralled by a record that combined Radiohead singles and hip-hop verses by none other then Jay-Z. What's better then hearing "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" over "Paranoid Android"? Tannone didn't stop there though as he continued releasing creative mash-ups with Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey), Beastie Boys, and Talib Kweli and each record really showcased his impressive skills as a producer.
2012 shows Tannone experimenting with some different sounds this time around. For the last few years, his mash-ups have been mostly dubbed with reggae music and it seems like this time around, he wanted to make a significant change. His brand new record, entitled Mic Check 1234!, is a mash-up compilation of sorts with 10 different rappers and 10 different classic punk rock bands.
At first, this combination seems rather unlikely but as you begin to listen to this album, you start to understand that it's more perfect than you could have believed for one sole reason. Punk rock is first and foremost, known as the rebellious theme music for an entire generation of kids from the early 1980's up until around the mid 1990's when the genre shifted to a more pop oriented structure. Hip-hop has done the same thing for several generations and although it has shifted to a more image-driven genre, there are still rappers out there that are truly representing their cultures in a positive way.
So on Mic Check 1234!, we have bands like Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and The Clash creating heavy rock sounds for rappers such as Eminem, 2Pac, Kanye West, and Lupe Fiasco. The combination of both rebellious groups really pays off as this album ends up being Tannone's best mash-up since Jaydiohead. I really enjoyed each remix as notes were matched and vocals were dubbed into songs for a borderline perfect match musically.
Tannone has yet to truly explode out into the musical world but for us indie fans and underground hip hop fans, this album is a gem. Tannone has a unique ability at splicing together two polar opposite genres and making them into one and the final product is almost always a genuine gift to his listeners. If you haven't checked out Tannone yet, stream his new album below and make sure to check out some of his older material on his website which I have also provided.