Thanks to the absurdly low cost of music and video editing software and an inexhaustible number of people who clearly have too much time on their hands, the Internet has been inundated with mash-ups. Some folks, believe this is a auspicious development for humanity. And while we agree that there are indeed some gems out there, there are just as many that are simply egregious trespasses on beautiful music.
The most successful mashes occur when two widely different songs compliment each other, or when one great song is mixed with an abomination that ends up making the abhorrent one actually sound kind of good. The Holy Grail of mashes, then, is when two crappy songs are skillfully combined to magically create one good song.
The flipside, of course, is what happens when neither of these ideal scenarios is played out, when a great track is killed by being unequally yoked to a far inferior tune, or even worse, when two good tunes are made horrendous by way of compositing. And that's our focus today as we run down the five worst mashes we've come across while sorting through the dubious composites of millions that people who clearly have far too much free time on their hands.
05. "Hello, Hello, Hello, Hell-O, I don't think you're ready for this jelly"
Do you think Nirvana represents all that is good and true in music? Then you'll be as appalled as we were when heard the raw energy and passionate sway of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" wed with the likes of Destiny's Child's "Bootilicious." Nirvana is mercilessly silenced and used mostly for its bass-line to hype up the booty shakers in a transgression not unlike publishing a troubled artist's personal journal after he's committed suicide. The ladies of Destiny's Child mimicking the King of Pop only adds insult to injury.
04. "Tricky, Tricky, Tricky, Oh Sweet Child of Mine"
Most mash-ups have at least one thread connecting the various songs that are combined, whether it be genre, tempo, or subject matter. Combining Gun N' Roses' riff-heavy ballad "Sweet Child O' Mine" with Run DMC's choppy, lyric-heavy 'It's Tricky' just doesn't make any logical sense -- and not in a good way like Bjork doesn't make any logical sense. This one is for people who just can't decide whether they'd rather hear an epic '80s arena-rock track or a genuine hip-hop classic and must ingest both of them at the same time. Have at it. The rest of us will cringe.
03. "Better shape up, 'cause I need a man...SNOOP DOGG!"
The beginning of Snoop Dogg's hip-hop anthem, when tweaked to meet the tempo of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's charming duet from Grease sounds much more like a parody of a country-western shindig than a bunch of gangstas running shit up in a club. Snoop and Dr. Dre just can't be tough when sped up to the pace of Grease. A hapless case of two strong songs representing hard for their respective genres while making one another sound ridiculous. An injustice has most certainly been committed, and the victim here is America.
02. "This crazy little thing is so not delicious"
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Freddy Mercury, a monumental figure in rock and roll history, has his likeness cast in bronze, facing Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. Fergie has lady lumps. And as precisely as those lumps fit into our culture's regimented definition of female beauty, combining Queen's classic guitar riffs and the inescapable chorus of its song "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" with Fergie's shamelessly narcissistic and self-promotional "Fergilicious" (starting to see a pattern here?) is like pairing filet mignon with a half-eaten Twinky that's been sitting in the sun for a few days.
01. "Let it Be, It Wasn't Me, Gag"
The only thing these two song have in common is that their names happen to rhyme. This intermingling of an unrepentant confession from a forgettable player's infidelity, followed by Shaggy -- in sleazy satin -- giving him The Best Advice Ever in "It Wasn't Me," with the subtle and powerful wisdom of the Beatles in 'Let It Be" is enough to make us want to track down whoever made this, duct tape them to a chair and blast them with Bieber 'round the clock. The honesty in Paul McCartney's scruffy face, mated with these two poseurs rap-sing-talking in studio lighting with girls flashing cleavage -- well, it is just downright depressing.