DJs love Jay-Z, and Jay-Z loves them back. The earnest affection all started four years ago when Danger Mouse geniusly blended Hova's The Black Album with The Beatles' The White Album to create the forever infamous The Grey Album.
The mash-up project instantly went down as an Internet classic, especially after The Beatles' record company EMI attempted to terminate its distribution. Jay-Z kept the wheels rolling with his own collaboration EP with Linkin Park that same year titled Collision Course and pretty soon all corners of the music spectrum were digging the art of the mash.
DJs pissed in their pants three years later when they found out that Hov was releasing the acapella version of American Gangster. As a result, the net was overwhelmingly hit with striking mash-up projects, most notably DJ Skee's The American Godfather.
Mick Boogie and Terry Urban sought to take Jay-Z's vocals to even greater heights with a mash-up album fans could only dream about. Inspired by the recently released "Lost" remix by Coldplay featuring Jay-Z, the two DJs cooked up a 20-track album between arguably two of music's biggest international icons.
Boogie and Urban recruited some of hip-hop's proven producers for the project and had them craft alluring instrumentals using Coldplay samples and sounds. Jay-Z's acapellas were then selected, matched, put into place, and Viva La Hova was born. Visit vivalahova.com for more information on the album and peep the jump for it's track list and producers. Here's a snippet of what Mick had to say about the mash-up's inspiration:
"As we began piecing together the correct verses to match the correct beats, it became clear how truly amazing this project really is. This is what real music is supposed to sound like. The lyrical elegance of Shawn Carter, the vocal magic of Chris Martin, the finely tuned instruments of Coldplay, the creative visions by our team of producers, and lastly, our analysis of which Jay verse best fit each track.
If you love Jay-Z and you're not into Coldplay, this is for you. If you love Coldplay, but don't mess with hip-hop, this is for you. If you love all good music, this is definitely for you."
From midnight last Monday (EST), Mick Boogie and Terry Urban presented Viva La Hova, the Jay-Z/Coldplay mash-up project and Coldplaying.com grabbed a moment with Mick for an exclusive interview to explain what it's all about.
Coldplaying: We read on your website that Jay-Z himself likes the project.
Mick: Yeah… we have a lot of mutual friends and they played it for him, and I guess he really liked it. So… I hope now via Coldplaying, Chris Martin will hear it as well.
Coldplaying: How did this unique idea come about?
Mick: Well... it's just a really cool concept... Jay and Chris represent all that is right with modern music and art... and have collaborated a few times in recent years to great results. So why not extend that concept over an entire album? I thought when Danger Mouse did the Grey Album, it was just remarkable. And while I didn't like every song on there, when it was on, it was absolutely some of the most amazing stuff I had heard. Same with the Jay-Z/Linkin Park project. When it was in sync, it was amazing... like their "Encore" mashup. So we tried to take a collaboration that was already organic and make it real... and also extend that quality level throughout the entire project.
Terry: A lot of artists reached out to us about being part of it as well... contributing guest verses and stuff but we didn't feel it fit the schedule and concept of this project. But if we could have made it happen, that would have been cool.
Coldplaying: Did this take you guys a long time?
Mick: Couple weeks... give or take. It was pretty much done a week ago, but we definitely wanted to take some time to tease it... and get people excited about it. It's been a lot of work.
Coldplaying: This looks like it was a lot of fun. Any difficult parts in getting it together?
Mick: Just coordinating everything in a short amount of time. But a lot of producers that we work with were more than happy to listen to our ideas and create things that we requested for the cd. Actually a lot of producers we have never worked with reached out to us in hopes of being on this project... which was really cool.
Coldplaying: What’s your favorite song on the project?
Mick: I have two. One is "The Reverse Fix" which is my first ever production. Usually, I have so many things I'm involved with that I outsource all the production on my projects and just Executive Produce/A&R the overall musical score. But I figured this would make a great introduction into something I want to get into more... and that is production. Also... I love the Lost Part 2 mix that I did. It's one of the very few songs on the project that's not a recreated/reproduced song. It's the import version of Lost... acoustic and piano only... and Chris singing. But there was a breakdown in there which left room for me to add some Jay-Z verses. I mixed in Jay’s "Momma Loves Me" which was my least favorite song on "The Blueprint" but the mood and emotion it creates essentially takes both songs to a whole new level.
Terry: I love The Kickdrums remake of "Homecoming" and "Heart Of The City." They are respected producers who are now moving into the artist realm... and their recreation of the Chris Martin hook on "Homecoming" is amazing.
Coldplaying: Are there artists in hiphop that are continuing to progress the culture in the same way Jay-Z is?
Mick: Kanye has been that dude who has followed Jay's trends of unique artistry, worldliness, fashion, and overall (i hate this word) swagger.
Terry: And as far as newer artists, we really like people like Mickey Factz, Naledge and Kid Cudi. They have a fresh new sound and vision, and capture the new spirit of youthful hiphop.
Coldplaying: You have a website for this... vivalahova.com...
Mick: Yeah.. well, it's really an offshoot from our blog...which is becoming more and more popular by the day... PressPlayFashionForward.com. But we wanted to give people a central place to read the updates, the press, get the download, etc. So we created an offshoot blog...and there it is. Good marketing is key. As Coldplaying undoubtedly knows!
Coldplaying: So over the years you guys have made quite a name for itself, seamlessly adding more and more onto your catalogues, with this project being helmed by the two of you and your team of producers, what is next?
Mick: Lots! More A&R and consulting. More cool conceptual mixtapes. A few digital deals with progressive record labels are being discussed. Mostly though, I'm focusing on my deejaying and traveling. I love traveling the country and world rocking parties from city to city, state to state, country to country. It's the thing I'm most enjoying right now about my career.
Terry: We are also working on expanding our 90s party... "I Got 5 On It" to other cities and states... and making it a traveling event. We already do it monthly in Cleveland and Brooklyn, and soon will be starting monthlies or one-offs in Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, and Montreal. So that's kinda fun. Also, I'm working with some of my favorite clothing brands on projects bridging hip-hop and skateboard culture.
Read more discussion on Viva La Hova at the Coldplaying messageboard here [thanks sDOTmelfi]
1) Intro (produced by Mick Boogie & Terry Urban)
2) Public Speeding (produced by Cookin’ Soul)
3) Know My Place (produced by The Amps)
4) Never Changing (produced by nVMe)
5) Miss Trouble (produced by Judah)
6) Back At My Place (produced by Remot)
7) No Love Coming Home (produced by The Kickdrums)
8) Lost Part 1 (produced by Coldplay)
9) A Spy’s Prayer (produced by nVMe)
10) Science Is Ignorant (produced by Gooch)
11) The Reverse Fix (produced by Mick Boogie & nVMe)
12) Hola Blanco (produced by Garbs Infinite)
13) Take The Hill (produced by nVMe)
14) Lost Part 2 (remixed by Mick Boogie)
15) Cold Success (produced by 9th Wonder)
16) What If We Cry? (produced by Remot)
17) Beach Chair (produced by Coldplay)
18) Falling In Shadows (produced by 6th Sense)
19) Life of Clocks (produced by Terry Urban)
20) X-Y-Z (produced by Hasan Insane)