Every now and then people do something so amazing, but so obvious in hindsight that you can’t believe you didn’t think of it first. The excellent Post Secret and Will Ferrell’s hilarious takes on drunk history being two examples.
When I watched the first episode of Justified, probably the second-best show on television (behind only True Blood), I was blown away by Long Hard Times to Come, the bluegrass/hip-hop mashup of a theme song. It was revolutionary, it was obvious, and it rocked.
Yesterday, I got an email from Gangstagrass, the group that does the Justified song, asking if I’d be interested in reviewing their record and/or adding some songs to our radio station playlists, and including a couple more awesome bluegrass/hip-hop songs. The Justified song was not a fluke- these are mighty fine songs. In fact, they are genre-creating songs, at least for me.
I’ve always loved bluegrass. I thought my hip-hop era started with De La Soul and ended when Flavor Flav took to reality-TV, but maybe not. Gangstagrass is a musical Reece’s Cup, that makes both elements sound better.
Here’s the bottom line. I get a lot of requests to review records, but none of them so far have been as musically paradigm-shifting as Gangstagrass’s aptly titled debut, Lightning on the Stings, Thunder on the Mic (purchase @ Amazon). This is some ear-bending, genre-changing goodness.
Gangstagrass is a collaboration between Rench, a singer, songwriter and producer who has previously combined elements of honky-tonk, hip-hop, and trip-hop music (I am going to explore his other stuff via Amazon), rapper T.O.N.E.-z, who is featured on the Justified song, and some smoking bluegrass players.
So sit back on this Sunday afternoon and dig this little bluegrass, hip-hop, gospel gem.
I’m completely serious when I say that this record has single-handedly changed my musical genome. This is really good stuff. As a matter of fact, I bought the entire record from Amazon, burned it to a CD and put in in my truck, where it will reign supreme for the foreseeable future. Hell, it’s 98 degrees out there and I’m going to have to roll with the windows down, just so I can scare a few soccer moms.
Go buy this record. Roll the window down. Play it loud.