Minty Fresh Beats
Release Date: January 2009
Anyone that has not taken up residence under the proverbial rock in the last few years should at least be cognizant of Danger Mouse’s notable The Grey Album, pitting Jay-Z’s a cappella rhymes against beats by The Beatles. Normally, mash-ups can be borderline pejorative with the obvious and well-known exceptions. Minty Fresh Beats tackles two superstars from different realms of the world, both on the literal and musical scale. Jaydiohead, as the name laughably implies, collides the smooth flow of Shawn Carter with the trademark, nigh-unclassifiable rhythms of some fledgling rock band from England often times referred to as Radiohead. Girl Talk dabbled with this pairing in Feed the Animal's"Set It Off," providing a brief, entertaining prognostication of the result of the combination. Minty Fresh Beats attempts to extrapolate this idea over an entire album. The effort is definitely laudable, as it mashes up highly respected representatives from the hip-hop and rock realms, making it at least applicable for plenty of folks. The results, however, are unsurprisingly hit-and-miss. In this instance, the parts far outweigh their sum. The collision is sometimes clunky and a bit simplistic, but there are some smile-worthy, head-bobbing moments. “Wrong Prayer” showcases the simple fact that “I Might Be Wrong” is an awesome beat, and it gels well with Hov’s pace. “99 Anthems” almost works, but it will undoubtedly have fans of the source material craving just that. A good deal of songs seem to end in that result, as the mash-ups end up cheapening the originals (see: “Dirt off your Android,” the pinnacle of facepalm.) Any fan of Jay-Z, Radiohead, or both looking for something (somewhat) new to whet appetites until the respective new albums may (The Blueprint 3) or may not (I refuse to jinx Radiohead’s eighth LP) come out later this year could do worse than this free, modestly entertaining yet nearly no-frills compilation.
Listen to and download the entire thing for free here.