Remember that time Drake’s song 6 God sampled a song from Donkey Kong Country and made it bang? If you know what i’m talking about, then chances are you’re heavy into hip hop and video games and were just as psyched as I was when you heard the way Kanye West sampled Street Fighter on FACTS.
Video Games and music go together really well. Here are 5 such mashup/instrumental/original projects which I thought were really awesome.
#5 - Marshall Vs Capcom
Marshall Vs Capcom is brought to us by Otaku Gang and dropped at a time where people were fully getting into the Street Fighter V hype. Its a mashup mixtape so it’s Eminem a capellas over beats sampled from various Street Fighter themes. A lot of the songs are pretty good, but I was most excited to hear what they did with Guile’s theme. Unfortunately, it’s actually one of the weaker songs on the project.
Marshall Vs Capcom’s version of Eminem and Nate Dogg’s ‘Til I Collapse makes the project worth checking out on its own. If you’re a fan of video game music, then you’re really going to appreciate the way they flip the samples to make a track that bangs so hard.
#4 - Chrono Jigga
Producer 2Mello has given us the collaboration we never knew we needed. Jay-Z who some would say is the best rapper alive (not me, I think that title belongs to Nas) mashed up with music Chrono Trigger, the best JRPG ever according to others (again, not me. That title goes to Final Fantasy VII) is a match made in heaven.
The mashup of the wind theme from Chrono Trigger and Jay-Z’s Song Cry takes two songs which spoke to my emotions and made the connection even deeper. There are so many wins on this project. A lot of songs are remixes from Jay-Z’s black album which has to be the most remixed project ever by now, but there are a few tracks from Hova’s other albums to round things out.
#3 - DJ Cutman Volume III
Unlike the two previous entries, this isn’t a mashup mixtape and is purely instrumental. That doesn’t make it any less exciting though. This beat tape flips samples of everything from Bravely Default, to Sonic CD, to Shovel Knight.
Every time I throw this thing on, I can’t help but rhyme along to the beats. The beats are well constructed and place the samples front and centre. Oftentimes when you listen to a project like this, the samples become so twisted and warped that they don’t sound like the originals.
For an artist trying to make something brand new, I can see how that would be in line with their goals. That’s not the MO of this beat tape though. For DJ Cutman, it’s about taking us on a nostalgia trip through revitalized instrumentals and, I gotta say, mission accomplished.
#2 - Ocarina of Rhyme
This was the first high quality video game sample/mashup project I had ever listened to. A couple of the songs are duds (i’m looking at you, Still D.R.E remix that sampled the song that plays when you open a treasure chest), but the ones that nail it will set your ears on fire.
Mike Jones, Slim Thug and Paul Wall’s Still Tippin’ goes so well with the theme from the Great Fairy Fountain that I can’t even listen to the original. The mashup of Busta Rhymes and the Gerudo Valley theme is another amazing auditory spectacle.
It was produced by Team Teamwork (also known for their Vinyl Fantasy VII project) but I think Ocarina of Rhyme is their best and most cohesive work.
#1 - Black Materia
I love to see this kind of ingenuity in hip hop. I’ve written before about how the breadth of hip hop samples is starting to incorporate eastern influences a lot more often, but to have a unified narrative within an album where you evoke the same feelings as the (in my opinion) best video game ever made? That’s a tall order. But Megaran succeeded tremendously.
Mako Reactor samples the song from the, you know.. Mako Reactor.., and had me sweating like I had to escape from somewhere before Avalanche blows it up. Mega Ran is a pretty underrated lyricist but that’s probably because Nerdcore hasn’t taken off. It’s very interesting to see Nerdcore lyrics about subject matter which typically stays in the realm of Otaku Rap.
Spiegz is head of Smack Talk’s lead Game Rapper. Questions? Comments? Tryna send some bars at me? Leave em below. Or catch up with him on twitter @SpiegelDFE