First, with some artificially insemination from Dr. Danger Mouse, we had The Grey Album, the mutated bastard child of Jay-Z’s The Black Album and The Beatles’ White Album. Then, a few blog years later, there was Jaydiohead, the unholy and surprisingly coherent union between Jay-Z (again) and Radiohead. Now, in the grand tradition of Hip Hop heavyweights procreating with British guitar bands, we have “The Notorious xx” a mash up album comprised entirely of The xx’s debut LP and the the voice of the best rapper to ever touch a mic.
Like The Grey Album it’s a surprisingly coherent pairing. But unlike Danger Mouse’s opus, San Fran producer Wait What does little to reinvent the mash up wheel. No fancy tricks here, just a vehicle that gives Biggies’s flow room to breathe. The entire album is pretty much ethereal, sparsely spun instrumentation in the back and Biggie’s timeless rhymes at front and center like they’re supposed to. It’s all good but we’d start with the Juicy/VCR mash first, then wonder why they didn’t dub the project XXL later.