April 3, 2008

Music Profile: The Hood Internet

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M.I.A. and New Order. White Rabbits and El-P. Timbaland and Hot Chip. She & Him and Ludacris. Names that one wouldn’t typically hear in the same thought, find on the same iTunes player or hear at the same concert. Yet through combinations such as these, the Hood Internet (www.thehoodinternet.com) challenges our preconceived notions on genres as they’re currently defined. In a world of perpetual remixes, reworkings and revampings, the Hood Internet manages to stand apart from the rest. Their work is usually a mash-up of an obscure indie rock track and an overplayed hip-hop/rap song, brought together through a creative balance of rhythms, beats and lyrics. The product is a combination of traditionally disparate genres into one harmonious foot-tapping and head-bopping wonder of a creation.
The illustrious duo behind the Hood Internet, DJ STV SLV (Steve Reidell) and DJ ABX (Aaron Brink), refer to themselves as amateur deejays who just want to have fun and listen to good music. The idea behind the Hood Internet website was as a blog where the two could post their bizarre mixings of unlikely pairs; they never expected to attain the popularity they have. While the concept of taking two or more seemingly unrelated artists and creating a mash-up of their work has been done before (thanks to better-known artists such as Girl Talk and Danger Mouse), the Hood Internet differs in that their notoriety has been achieved solely through the internet and word-of-mouth. Their semi-regular weekly postings include a free mp3 download of their newest creations, as well as a subtly uncanny and starkly awesome photo combination of the two artists they have merged (see Ludicris and She & Him above).
While the duo is always up to date with the newest trends in popular music across various genres, showcasing the latest and greatest artists out there, they will also include throwbacks to yesteryear for a little bit of flair. For instance, just when you thought you had heard the last of Destiny’s Child, the Hood Internet brings them back for a mash up with Justice, indie-electronic-dance’s newest gurus (often compared to the legendary Daft Punk). The remix, a combination of Destiny’s Child’s “Lose My Breath” and Justice’s “Waters Of Nazareth” (titled “Lose My Waters Of Naza(b)reath”), is an upbeat song revolving around Beyonce and co.’s repeated refrains of “Can you keep up?” and “You make me lose my breath,” as Justice responds with sporadic and fast-paced elecro-beats.
On “Push It To The Alalimit,” a mash up between Cansei De Ser Sexy’s (CSS) “Alala” and Rick Ross’ “Push It To The Limit,” D.J. STV SLV manages to give Ross’ monotonous, dried out version of the Paul Engemann original a little more spice. The D.J. artfully overlays CSS’ vocals over Ross’ simple background beat, creating a sound that is both befitting and reminiscent of the infamous Scarface montage than Ross’ own, singular attempt. By omitting CSS’ catchy electro-rock beat and Ross’ drowned-out rap vocals, the song achieves a powerful vibe, sans any distractions that could detract from its haunting and moving melodic core.
Though the Hood Internet was born just under a year ago, the response has been overwhelming to the point that they had to temporarily shut down their website due to exceeded bandwidth. The deejays have in turn declared themselves “internet platinum.” While some mash-ups are better than others, and a few are labeled as poorly executed copies, the Hood Internet still stands strong as a symbol of pure, tasteful fun.