Rap and Rock and Roll: A Match Made in Heaven
So since it was reported that Fall Out Boy has collaborated with T.I. on a song that may or may not appear on his next album Paper Trail, I’ve seen numerous out cries of “OMG! WHY ARE THEY DOING RAP MUSIC?! THEY’RE NOT A RAP GROUP! I HATE RAP!”
And it hurts my soul, folks. Well, not really, but some of my research has shown that using that particular phrase may aid in getting people to stop saying things you don’t want to hear.
It is upsetting though because rap and rock and roll have a decent history of mixing with each other. From samples to full out collaborations, the two genres borrow from each other on a regular basis. Don’t believe me? Here’s some of the highlights.Run DMC ft. Aerosmith “Walk This Way”
When Run DMC, one of the most influential rap groups in history, remixed Aerosmith’s classic hit “Walk This Way” they got the band involved. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry even appear prominently in the classic and iconic video for the song, where the wall between rap and rock was symbolically knocked down.
The classic collab was revisted at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999, when Aerosmith and Run DMC joined Kid Rock (a genre crossing artist in and of himself with his mix of rap, funk and southern rock) to perform an update of the song.
Controversial artist Eminem sampled a then-largely-unknown-in-the-US artist by the name of Dido for his single about an obsessed fan. Dido also appeared in the video for the song as the pregnant girlfriend of the song’s title character (played by Devon Sawa).
But perhaps the more shocking collaboration on the song was when Eminem (who was under fire for supposedly homophobic lyrics) performed the song at the 2001 Grammy awards with Sir Elton John, who is not only openly gay but a gay rights activist and icon.
Eminem also sampled Aerosmith’s “Dream On” for his song “Sing for the Moment.“
Public Enemy and Anthrax “Bring the Noise”
Public Enemy’s music is often political in nature and they are known for their social commentary and involvement.
Anthrax is one of the best known thrash metal bands in the world.
Both bands have been together and putting out music since the early 1980’s and have influenced a great number of artists both within their genre and within others.
The Offspring ft. Redman “Original Prankster”
Like them or hate them, you can’t deny The Offspring’s influence on punk music, especially modern pop-punk. From classic hits like “Self Esteem” and “Come out and Play” to their concept album Americana which spawned hits like “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” it seemed like they had covered all their bases.
However, for their 2003 album Splinter, the group teamed up with rapper Redman for a song entitled “Original Prankster” which became their first single from the album.
Linkin Park and Jay-Z Collision Course
With more and more people able to access digital mixing software on their home PC’s we came into an age of homemade mash-ups. For example, a mash-up of Kelly Clarkson’s “Behind These Hazel Eyes” and the Led Zepplin classic “The Immigrant Song.” No, really.
But when you’re Jay-Z, you don’t sit around and wait for somebody with Garageband to mash up your music. You get together with Linkin Park and put out an entire album of mash-ups, including a fantastic mix of “Numb” and “Encore.” Check it out. Also, a three song mix of “Points of Authority,” “99 Problems” and “One Step Closer.”
Timbaland ft. Fall Out Boy “One and Only”
For their album Infinity on High, Fall Out Boy worked with hip hop greats Jay-Z and Babyface. They also had their lead single “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” remixed by THE man in hip hop today, Kanye West.
But they took it one stop further and collaborated on a song with Timbaland entitled “One and Only.” While singer Patrick Stump had worked on songs with hip hop artists in the past (including semi-hip hop, semi-rock, semi-something else label mates Gym Class Heroes) this time the entire band was along for the ride to perform a verse in the song as well as it’s catchy hook.
Now we’re headed into the future with the Fall Out Boy/T.I. collaboration as well as talk of Panic at the Disco getting ready to work with Snoop Dogg after performing his hit Gin and Juice on stage in Germany as well as on the premier episode of F’N MTV. So for those of you dreading the idea of Fall Out Boy’s image or music being tarnished by working with hip-hop, rap or R&B stars? Look, they aren’t the first to do it. They sure as hell won’t be the last.
And maybe you should think about giving hip-hop or R&B another chance. Just like every other genre of music there’s a ton of variety and you never know, you just might find something you like. Keep an open mind. It doesn’t hurt.
A special thanks to everyone who helped me gather links and song suggestions for this post. You guys all fucking rock.