For anyone else who has ever thought or wondered about the kind of impact a beat has on rap lyrics, I decided to put up a side-by-side comparison of Yung Joc's "It's Goin' Down" with a remix of the track by mashup duo The White Panda. The track starts with the instantly recognizable synth riff of Owl City's "Fireflies" before the rap intro starts with producer Nitty introducing us "to another motherfucker out my squad...go by the name of Joc." Already there is a disconnect*; it grows further especially during passages such as:
"Catch me in the hood posted at the sto
Pistol in my lap on the phone counting dough
If a girl choose let her do her thang
Just like her mama nice ass, nice brain"
"If ya got a problem say it to my face
We can knuckle up any time any place"
The Owl City sample is perhaps the polar opposite of Nitty's original beat: innocent and full of poppy synths and bell chimes. The first casual listen to "Fireflies Goin' Down" gives the listener that impression as well, until he or she really pays attention to Yung Joc rapping about how much swag he has--at that point the song just becomes comical. Anyone else have similar or opposing thoughts on the relationship between beats and vocals? What kind of value do remixes and mashups like this have in the hip hop community, if any?
Song links:Yung Joc - It's Goin' Down (original)
The White Panda - Fireflies Goin' Down (Owl City vs Yung Joc)
*Props to White Panda for a mashup that is fun to listen to, albeit doesn't make much sense from a lyrical/musical perspective.