BLOG: The Odd Couple
I was reading this interview with The Rza over at HipHopGame, and in it he talks about how he's got this new group with Shavo, the bassist from System of a Down and a couple other folks. It's called Achozen.
That got me thinking of all the weird pairings we've seen in music over the past few years. Like, what happened to Expensive Taste, with Paul Wall, Skinhead Rob and Travis Barker? Are Cee-Lo and Dangermouse doing another record as Gnarls Barkley?? Will Lupe, Pharrell and Kanye ever really get together as CRS and give emo rap fans the wet dream of an album they've been waiting for?
But I don't want to rehash all the groups, because honestly there's just too many to keep track of. Every day someone says they're pairing with so and so for a best of both worlds type album.
What I want to do is suggest some odd couples that I think could really make some great music. Like, some collabos that are so bugged out that there is no possible way they could get in the studio and not come out with something interesting.
Dr. Dre and Asher Roth– Dre has been quiet as of late, and I'm not holding my breath on Marshall's return. If Dre could define the sound of one misunderstood suburban whiteboy generation, how ill would it be if he defined another, ten years later? This would call for a totally new Dre sound, something so musically different that we (the listeners) wouldn't even know it's Dre until he starts doing interviews and whatnot (not like anyone reads credits anymore).
Rza and MIA– Rza tried to cash in on the world market years ago, back when he put out The World According to Rza, with a whole bunch of foreign rappers. MIA rhymes over a whole bunch of weird digi beats already, and perhaps Bobby's unique brand of electro tracks will mesh better with her accented pseudo-rhymes than they do with angry new york rapper spit. Supposedly they're on this N.A.S.A. album, but not on the same song. Damn.
Kanye and Coldplay– To hell with one song, the new king of emo rap and the current kings of emo rock need to just lock in and do a whole project together. Apparently, nobody wants to hear Kanye sing. Chris Martin, different story. A lot of Coldplay instrumentation and arrangements make for good hip-hop tracks anyway, they're just missing the boom bap (see: "Viva La Hova"). This could be cool, because it would the current musical version of Kanye without the weakest link.... Kanye!
Ron Browz, T-Pain and Akon– My thinking is that these three should form a digital doo wop group, completely auto-tuned. They'll call themselves, The Autotuners. They'll remake "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" like any current R&B start would, call it "Why Do Hoes Fall In Love," just so today's generation can "get" it, and make millions in iTunes.
Just Blaze and Rihanna– if TI's "Live Your Life" is any indication, Just Blaze, when he actually produces, is still a remarkable talent behind the boards. Rihanna has embodied the pre-fab punk rocker persona since "Umbrella" dropped, but her music is still all bubble gum pop. She needs to link with Just for some harder tracks, then he can bring in his orchestra buddies from that Nike "2nd coming" commercial to do the arrangements.
Diddy and Prince– Puff broke out of a Bad Boy cold streak that last for years once he jacked Prince's "Erotic City" for "Last Night" from Press Play. Although I would argue that Puff has very little musical talent at all, to me he's always seemed like a little rap version of Prince mixed with MC Hammer (Shiny suits? check. Baggy pants? No.) And he sure does know how to put a hit together. He also knows how to supply the accompanying marketing aka "circus" that an artist needs to become a mainstream staple.
Mark Ronson and Mary J Blige– "Just Fine" was some ol' "play this on Sunday" after church shit. I think if you're going that route, if can be done better. Mark is the new school champ of blue eyed soul, and since it's more likely that Amy Winehouse will overdose before she makes another album, he might as well just give her material to Mary, who's got more than enough substance abuse experiences to sing about just the same. Would it sound as good as this? Hope so.
What other crazy odd couples should pair up and make some records?