2. Beck’s Loser vs Wale’s Pretty Girls – on one level, a joke (Pitchfork’s review read it this way): Wale is not the biggest rapper in the world and is perhaps not in a position to be as openly obnoxious as this (“Ugly girls be quiet, pretty girls clap like this”) so “Loser” sets up his rap as some sort of ironic selfaware dissection or perhaps just Girl Talk calling him on his shit. On another level, it’s a good verse set to a great beat. There’s just something joyous about when that guitar loop drops in. SOY UN PEREDOOOOR.
3. Rihannah’s Rude Boy vs Fugazi’s Waiting Room – That bass line is powerful. Even if you’ve never heard “Waiting Room” you can’t help but think you recognise that bass line because it’s so damn good. Meanwhile Rihanna’s taking a sub lyric and giving it a dom vocal performance, so the whole thing is pleasingly sexy in a switchy way, especially when partnered with the aggroswagger of the music. Much like Paul Morely’s observation that the best thing about Can’t Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head is the idea of Kylie fronting New Order, the idea of Rihanna being the vocalist of Fugazi is pretty thrilling.
4. Beastie Boys vs Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life – Everyone partying all at once, while on the run from the law.
5. Lil Wayne vs New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle – The intro to Bizarre Love Triangle isn’t a million miles away from a sped-up and scratched take on the one-note bassline from A Milli. One of the best rappers going in over one of my favourite songs. Simple.
6. Twista vs U2 – Twista is not a fantastic rapper, U2 is not a great band. And yet somehow this is stirring, and anthemic and sets Twista’s promises to uh, you know, “make you wet” as a thing of world-saving life-altering importance. Bono should only ever sing wordless vocals.
7. Rye Rye vs Rage Against the Machine – In a choice between our world and one where Rage Against the Machine is fronted by a 19 year old woman who can actually rap, I’d take the other every time. Even if there was some weird catch, like, in the alternate world men had to sit down to pee. It’d be worth it.
8. N.E.R.D. vs Bruce Springsteen – I don’t even know. It just makes a lot of dumb sense.
9. Drake vs Flock of Seagulls – Stadium rap, meet stadium rock, I think the two of you are going to get along very, very well. I really like fast hip-hop and Drake (who I’m quite fond of) has too many too slow beats, so it’s nice to hear him over something quicker and easier to dance to.
10. Jay-Z’s Dirt Off Your Shoulder vs Modern English’s Melt With You – Isn’t this where we came in? Modern English soften things up and speed things up. That little breakdown is such a wonderfully odd moment with the ME gents gently cooing while Jay does the bit about how he’s internationally recognised but still true to his roots. But again, really, it’s more simple than any “What is Girl Talk saying with this combination?” nonsense – it’s a great rap run over a great instrumental. And you can dance to it.
Other micro-highlights include the deployment of Phoenix’s ever joyous 1901, two second snatches of Diva and Whip My Hair and the very beginning of The Rapture’s immortal House of Jealous lovers thrown around a similarly short snatch of Usher’s OMG. Girl Talk: Everything all of the time and always brilliant. Even when sampling Ke$ha.
About the author:
Miles Bradley is headed towards becoming, at least
in my head, the 21st Century’s foremost man of letters.
The question/answer sessions on his Tumblr are almost
unnecessarily beautifully written and pretty consistently
insightful. The rest of his blog merely collects everything that’s
important about the internet and packs it, Archivist-style, into
one convenient space. He is also my favourite ever dancer.