DJ Muggs & DJ Warrior Mash-Up Radio Vol. 1

There’s something about the whole idea of mash-up — taking an a capella track from one song and blending it with a track from another genre — that just seems more kitsch than cool. The concept first became prevalent a few years ago, and while it has produced some interesting combinations, the decision to develop this idea into an entire industry was obviously not one well thought out. On Mash-Up Radio Vol. 1, respected Soul Assassin and Cypress Hill member DJ Muggs teams up with L.A. mix-tape king DJ Warrior to bring hip-hop and rock together the way did Run-DMC and Aerosmith did almost 20 years ago, though with hardly the same effect. The late Freddie Mercury, for example, tries (and fails) to tackle Outkast’s "Hey Ya!” with his "We will rock you” chant, while Nas’ "It Ain’t Hard To Tell” rubs up against Led Zeppelin’s "Stairway To Heaven” in a mix that loses the characteristics that made each song so memorable. The problem here lies not so much in the idea but in the selection, as each DJ seems to go out of his way to choose tracks that simply have nothing in common. The few mash-ups that actually do work — Jay-Z vs. Tool and a 2pac/Hendrix concoction — do so because they sound as though they could really have existed in this form. But while it is undoubtedly possible (as Muggs and Warrior prove) to mix Biggie’s "Hypnotize” over Joan Jett’s "I Love Rock and Roll,” the question you inevitably have to ask yourself is: why the hell would you want to? (Independent)