Blackroc is a rap rock collaboration between The Black Keys and a whack ton of rappers and hip hop artists like Ludacris, A Tribe Called Quest, RZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard (RIP), and Mos Def… just to name a few. The project (which took just 11 days to record) was prompted by former owner/co-founder of Rocafella Records, Damon Dash, after The Black Keys quickly became his favourite band.
Blackroc was released November 27, 2009 and reached Number 1 and Number 7 on the US Billboard Heatseakers chart and US Billboard Top Rap Albums. But why stop there? The Keys are soon set to release a sequel titled…what else? Blackroc 2. Blackroc's second installment will feature the likes of Curren$y, Talib Kweli, The Cool Kids, and "Black and Yellow" star, Wiz Khalifa.
We're too excited to just wait around for this album, so we decided to revisit some of our favourite past rock-rap hybrids:
1. "Walk This Way" - Aerosmith & Run DMC
Yeah yeah yeah, you knew this was coming, so let's just get it out of the way. Often coined as the original rap-rock collab, "Walk This Way" may seem like an obvious choice, but obvious choices are obvious for a reason. Run DMC were never 'smooth' rappers, so they fit right in with Steven Tyler's staccato screaming. "Walk This Way" will always be a crowd pleaser, uniting hair-bands and b-boys alike!
2. "Let It Rock" - Lil Wayne & Kevin Rudolf
You'd never guess it, but Lil Wayne's favourite band growing up was Nirvana. Yup, Weezy's got a soft spot for grunge and some good ol' rock n' roll. I mean, helllooo, Rebirth, anyone? Wayne is even holding a guitar on the album cover, so even if he can't shred on a skateboard, at least he shreds the strings! Am I right??
3. "Pursuit of Happiness" - Kid Cudi & MGMT & Ratatat
One of my favourite songs from 2010! It's produced by Ratatat while MGMT sing the chorus. What happened to this Kid Cudi? The one who made really catchy tracks and collab'd with super cool electro-rock duos? We hope he comes back because we're sorta bored with this new guy…
4. "99 Problems" - Dangermouse (Jay-Z vs. The Beatles)
Alright, so this isn't as much a "collaboration" as it is a…mash-up, but it's beautiful. The Grey Album was actually a huge moment for copyright wars and remix culture. Dangermouse was just playin' around mixing up Jay-Z and The Beatles and happened to send some tracks out to a couple people. They immediately recognized its genius and started uploading and spreading it all over the place. Of course, and as always with Beatles samples, copyright laws were broken and things got sorta messy. Thankfully, Sir (and don't you forget it!) Paul McCartney butted in and commented, "I didn't mind when something like that happened with The Grey Album. But the record company minded. They put up a fuss. But it was like, 'Take it easy guys, it's a tribute.'" True dat, Pauly!
What are your favourite rap rock collabs!?