RIP TKRMX, Been a fan of his stuff since long after he quit, and all that is left is a trail of abandoned social media accounts like walking through some sort of mashup ghost town. This is a personal favorite, mashing up J. Cole with the music and sounds of anime classic Dragon Ball Z.
Check out some of the sounds of Jay-Zelda: Beats Awakening by AQUMA in my first VGM video review!
Mashups on Ice.
Some mashup albums flow, and some bang, but this is the first one that slides right into my soul. Tracks like On Like Donkey Kong, and One for Mario are full of that R&B soul singing and is the closest thing to the R&B VG mashup album of my dreams.
I hope 2 Mello has insurance, because I just burst into flames while listening to this album. It's hot. The album, it's hot, is what I'm trying to say. On my first listen I am marking out hard on the matches Mello sets up in his mashup arena..
Mello digs deep to find some hard hitting mashups. Though the beat source is far from new territory, the fresh raps and Mello's style bring it all together to stand apart from not just other mashup albums, but other FFVII mashup albums.
The album starts off with the titular remix of Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force. The nostalgia of Final Fantasy and classic funk is an almost deadly fusion. If you can survive the intro though, you can hear more hot bangers like my secret favorite FFVII track, Cosmos Canyon, combined with Youngbloodz for the heavy hitting jam, "Cosmos Be Damned." This track is the perfect theme for a crazy band powerful rebels preparing to take on the entire world (including the ocean).
This album also marks the first time 2 Mello has set Biggie to one of his beats. It works. If "Dream From the Struggle" was the theme for Barret Wallac... aaaah crap I just realized that the B.I.G. and Barret have the same last name! They even both have first born daughters. Oh man oh man, this rabbit hole is growing by the second. Time to do some research!
But first, this album. So, if your mind hasn't melted from the growing Notorious Barret theory, then you can enjoy the track, which is really good. and 2 Mello means free album, so download it now.
(Side note, I also love the brevity of this album. Seven songs is perfect. Anyone thinking of mashing up the entire FFVII soundtrack, please do not do that.)
Then help me bug Mello to drop his next rap album. We are waiting Mr. professional musician now.
To be fair, I haven't played anything past IX, so this game is definitely the end of the era of many years of Squaresoft fandom. Basically from Super Mario RPG to FFIX, Square could do no wrong.
I can't help but imagine the following track, Steiner's Still Tippin' as Zidane and his band of thieves dropping these Mike Jones fronted rhymes on Steiner's theme as a major diss to Steiner and his high falutin' moral code.
Especially savory in this mashup is the line 'Blowing on the endo, GameCube Nintendo' In the context of the mashup, it appears that Zidane is such a thug, that he was even playing a non Sony console.
Do you still look forward to the latest Final Fantasy games? Do you prefer replaying the classics?
Feeling this album way down deep in my bones. I'm very excited to know this album has seen the light of day. When I ran across one of the tracks during another search through SoundCloud for some new tunes for the recent Link's Awakening anniversary, I was lucky enough to find a dusty, but still bumping mix of Jigga and Zelda by Aquma.
Even with my quality googlin' skills, I couldn't find much more on the album save for a handful of tracks floating nebulously about the internet. The best I could assess was that the album was either never released or simply faded into the ether thanks to expired domains and broken html links.
I was dismayed at the thought of another lost album that I wouldn't get my hands on. A person's artistic endeavor, lost. I know I'm being a tad melodramatic, but the tracks I did hear were pretty damn catchy. Then suddenly. I get a Twitter shout out after my initial post about Aquma's tunes, and later that evening I find out that dude had just posted the album to his SoundCloud.
The album is a fast paced 11 tracks featuring some of the most memorable themes from the oft forgotten handheld classic The Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening. Sword Search, The Mysterious Woods, Nightmare, hell, even Totaka's Song makes an appearance.
On the flip side, Jay-Z has gotten the mashup treatment plenty of times at this point. There are already two Jigga fusions in my list of favorite mashup albums. Though Jay-Z didn't become Hova for nothing. Even amongst all the other Jay-Z mashups, Aquma manages to find the rhymes less traveled.
That includes the opening theme, Roc Feather, which features the flows of Jay-Z track Roc Boys. Nightmare is another standout track, with the miniboss battle music featuring Rihanna thanks to using Jay-Z's 'Run This Town.'
Hearing a fun or oddball mashup is a grand time, but when I hear an album like this, where it's clear the producer 'gets' the music he is combining, I could almost hear the extra thought that was put in to bring the most of each ingredient, or maybe I just think about the similarities between rap and video games too much. Either way, I'm glad Aquma was awesome enough to oblige. Hopefully he finds time for another mashup mix or two in between programming games.
Half hour of genre spanning VGM mashups
Now this is exactly what I want to find when I'm on soundcloud searching for video game inspired music. I definitely feel inspired when I listen to this mix. I hope the Swordmaster is sharpening his blade because it's been a while since this release and I hope he ain't finished yet.
Intense video game based beats
As I bump this album, I feel like I have privileged knowledge, since this gripping mix of video games, chillwave, and hip hop just to scratch the surface, is hovering just below 1000 plays. By the time this article goes live, I hope to view the track list Junk Food is teasing once it breaks that 1K threshold.
Check Rap Genius for the subbed version
Don't front like you aren't watching anime when you roll that blunt.
I've been anticipating this one since Mello dropped that GGx50 mashup a few weeks back. 2 Mello has made it a career of hitting me right in that perfect musical sweet spot, especially after the most recent anime binge I went on. This concept could be it's own trilogy, though only Mello knows where he could take this idea from here.
On the, what, third play through as I write this, the stand out tracks are Lil Jon vs Persona 3 and epic closing mashup of Ciara ft. Missy Elliott vs 2PM.
This whole album feels like the fifth flavor of pop music.
Get caught up in decades of nostalgic beats
Awesome mini mix of over a dozen classic VGM tracks including GunSmoke, Resident Evil, Super Mario Land 2, and plenty more. See if you can catch them all.
Some mashups just fit the mood of both the original song and game so well, and much of the music from Tovarisch! is just that. Aerith's Airplanes is a mix of B.o.B.'s nostalgic track Airplanes along with the somber music of Aerith's Theme from Final Fantasy VII from the PSX.
Absolutely off the hook mashup of Final Fantasy V and Childish Gambino. This is some final boss battle level shit right here.
Release day review of the free-to-download mashup adventure.
The 2 Mello mashup trilogy comes to a close with The 3-6 Chambers, available to download or stream now over at Scrub Club Records. Seems Mello saved the most intense for last, a 14 track collection of mashups featuring the music from Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy VI soundtrack, remixed and remastered beneath the eclectic flows of classic Wu-Tang Clan.
2 Mello's story-based mashups (as well as other artists like Tovarisch) have forced me to find a new term for this combination of videogame based hip hop storytelling. Henceforth, albums of this caliber will be known as mashup adventure albums. This term means that the album not only collects a variety of catchy tunes and hot vocals, but that attention is also payed to the original meaning of the source material, and becomes remixed and mashed up to convey the heart and mind of the original artists.
Mello sums up the idea of a mashup adventure album well in his own liner notes
This attention to storytelling is something I love in video games and hip hop, and evidently I also crave in my video game hip hop, no matter the source material.
As a hip hop head, living in Southern California put me at quite the disadvantage in hearing much Wu-Tang in my youth. This means I'm not nostalgic for classic Wu-Tang in quite the same way as when I heard Jay-Z and Nas, both of whom were featured in Mello's previous mashup collections. This means I not only get the chance to hear a brand new collection of head bobbing Mello mashups, but can also up my hip hop game by getting more familiar with the Wu.
The album dropped this morning, and I am giving it my first listen as I type up these words, so instead of a full review, for now I'll give my initial impressions. On first play through, the album is surprisingly laid back, likely due to the beat choices, which juxtaposes the playful, endless grassy field imagery of classic RPGs with the big city New York rap style of Wu Tang.
On first play through, stand out tracks are currently the opening and closing tracks, "Magic Ruins Everything Around Me", and "The Crew is Back" respectively. Of course there is plenty of meat sandwiched in between.
I have to admit I didn't give the album a straight play through as planned, thanks to "Got Your Treasure" a mixture of ODB and The Veldt (Wild West). I had to hit rewind quite a few times, and really take in the mood of Final Fantasy within the lyrical context of Dirt McGirt. The song takes on the mood of a cocky adventurer busting into caves and dungeons and getting that money.
Catchiest track award has to go to "Da Mystery of Shadow-Boxin'" for the beautiful fusion of the somber Shadow's theme with Da Mystery of Chessboxin.' Headbanger award definitely goes to "Battle Pit." which combines the hard hitting sounds of Gravel Pit with FFVI's main battle theme. It's the FFVI equivalent to Team Teamwork's classic FFVII mashup of M.O.P.
I hope to have a fuller collection of thoughts on the album sometime in the future. I now live in a world in which a mashup album could be one of the most layered and deep albums of the year for me. Isn't that something? Enter The 3-6 Chambers for free via the Scrub Club Records album page. You can also follow 2 Mello's Twitter.
Some day, there will be an RPG in which the battles really will have rap music about fighting. That is my dream. A hip hop Persona, or urban Earthbound...
First Single from upcoming album The 3/6 Chambers.
Get a good taste of this mashup of Wu Tang and Nobuo Uematsu's classic Final Fantasy VI soundtrack. This album will mark the finale in the 2 Mello mashup saga that began with Chrono Jigga, then Nastlevania. The finale drops in only one week, October 20th.
I'll be rocking this song, and eventualy the full album as I drop everyone in 1v1 online in Super Smash Bros for 3DS over the next few weeks.
Check out the simple but effective single art, and the ful track list to the upcoming album below.
Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" is infinitely better if it is about Cloud Strife as heard in the opening sequence of mashup FFVII hip hop album Mo Gil Mo Problems. I also listened to plenty of "Motorcycle Sabotage, Bitch" during the intense chase scenes of Need for Speed Rivals and Mario Kart 8.
"I've taken some of the most memorable tracks from the iconic Final Fantasy VII soundtrack and overlaid well-known popular songs that I felt complemented not only the music itself but also the context of the video game’s storyline."
Perhaps, with albums such as 2Mello's Nastlevania leading the way, artists who mashup video games with hip hop, rock, and pop music have gone a bit more meta, using the lyrics of the songs themselves to draw a portrait of the game or game's protagonist in a way that you may not have thought about before.
Check out the first of at least two Peachmix albums, and perhaps hundreds judging by the file name of PEACHMIX001: GRIMECRAFT. This one comes our way via one member of Peachboiz, Grimecraft. It's tough for me to explain this album, as I haven't written about something much like this before. One part chiptunes, another part anime, with an injection of pop and hip hop and we end up with a stellar tour of one man's love of art, media, and music.
It's clear Grimecraft should star in his very own harem anime. Although, this is merely the first of the series, and if the Peachboiz soundcloud is anything to go by, there will be quite a few challengers for the mighty Grimecraft to contend with.
It's clear from the over-the-top opening, Can't Tell Me Anything, that this prince is from the streets of all cosmos. The aggressive energy of the intro track bleeds into a surprisingly laid back remix of Busta Rhymes and the memorable piano driven "The Moon and the Prince."
The third track, "I'll" really sets the tone for the album with the glitchy tones of Blue Orb highlighting Danny Brown's lyrics from I Will. Probably one of my favorite songs on the album, too bad I can't sing along with it in public.
One thing I love about mashups is the fact that I can learn to love a lot of songs I originally disliked or just didn't give the time of day to. More Than Twenty Questions is a great example of that, since I spent a few years thinking 50 cent was beyond wack. Toss down some of his lines over the dreamy sounds of Katamari Stars and I love this track. 50 cent is okay.
The love is over quickly and it's time for a young prince to move that katamari. Wonder how the King of all Cosmos got so powerful, maybe "Move Drugs" provides a hint. If you got high on some intergalactic kush thanks to the last song, then you'll really feel the follow up song, Tachyon, a nice anthem track to get you pumped for the final stretch of the album.
So far it has been difficult for me to decide what I like better, the thug prince of some tracks, or the surprisingly forward suave lover of a prince, but if the track Butts Everywhere could be lumped into a broad definition of 'romance,' then the sauve prince wins by a hundred miles. I'm sorry but I think songs where the chorus is a catchy reference to asses and possibly what asses can do, then I love it. So if you want a great album review from me, then have a song about butts on your album, and make it catchy.
The penultimate track is the one I was most excited for when the tracklist dropped. It didn't matter which Katamari song it got paired with, I knew DMX' vocal track from "X Gon' Give it to Ya" would be a definite highlight of the album. Even with all my expectations I didn't expect "X Will Give it to You" to be this catchy. I can only picture DMX in a suit performing live with a big band in a high class casino.
Ever since falling in love with the ending track from Team Teamwork's Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis album, I've payed close attention to the way this man ends albums. This one does not disappoint. "International Anthem for Players" is a perfect ending to both the game and the album. Teamwork deftly mixes in the original vocals from "Katamari of Love." Though those vocals by Shigeru Matsuzaki (and lyrics by Yoshihito Sano) are in his native Japanese, I'm sure he' s dropping some real pimp game.