to eleven

Review: Tom Caruana’s Okayplayer vs. Bollywood by ymatto
March 4, 2011, 10:23 am
Filed under: hip-hop, Review | Tags: , , , ,

Max Tannone’s Selene, his hip-hop EP made from elements of the movie Moon, recently came out and I’ve wanted to approach a review of that with the proper respect.  But while waiting for that mood to strike, I got word that Tom Caruana had a new thing available to download — Okayplayer vs. Bollywood.  Indian cinema and one of the realest hip-hop labels on this earth. Hm.

You might remember Caruana’s Magical Mystery Chambers mash-up album, combining the Beatles with the sounds of the Wu.  It came out around the time of Max Tannone’s Jaydiohead and both albums hit hard, proving to me that mashups didn’t have to be novelty listening.  They respected the source material, elevated it, and offered something new in the combination.  With that history I might have expected that Okayerplayer vs. Bollywood would be solid, but I couldn’t help but imagine Bollywood silliness with some standard beats and rhymes dropped on top. That is not what we have here however, and it is fairly banging.

The best tracks here lift Bollywood elements so effortlessly and weave them so tightly into a new production that the result is completely without seams.  If you’re not familiar with the rhymes from the Okayplayer back catalog, there isn’t any sense at all that the result isn’t as it was always intended.  Calling this a Bollywood mashup album is kind of like calling The Chronic a funk mash-up album.  In the near future, you very may well be at a party and hear some dude chatting up a chick, saying that “Bollywood-style music really is just hip-hop in another socio-historical context” and citing this album as proof.  I hope not, but prepare yourself.

Okayplayer – The Bollywood Remake – Intro

So as before with Magical Mystery Chambers, go forth and download.

– Matt