Mashups: Pure genius? Or, the death of original thought?

Why do we celebrate the mashup artist? Is it because they’ve taken two somethings we (quite possibly) love, and assume we’re going to love them twice as much when they’re overlain?

Well, it was true for chicken and waffles. Chili dogs. Frank Sinatra and Cyndi Lauper.

When it comes to music mashups, perhaps I’m just too old. (I’m really not. It just feels like it sometimes.). Mashups may take a really good ear to be able to fashion an aural quilt, to be able to imagine how seemingly incongruous melodies can harmonize the crap out of each other. Now, I’m not a musician, or a musicophile to any degree. But, where’s the original thought? Is there a real craft to mashups?

Of course my mashup fascination is likely due to the spate of Nine Inch Nails-Taylor Swift postings.

Pretty catchy…


Apparently, NIN are like parmesan cheese. They can top anything.

**Nine Inch Nails / Carly Rae Jepsen**
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However cool NIN are, my earliest – and favorite – mashup memory is from somewhere around 1999-2001 ish. I want to say the website I found this on was something like ‘zagnut’? Anyway, I’m pretty sure this was pre-Google, but I bet you can still find Eminenya online…

**Eminem / Enya** (Now, this synchronizes ostensibly discordant elements!)
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Are there some things that don’t go together? It’s possible. Then again, I love a good gin & tonic float.

Photograph: Anders Schonnemann. As seen on Serious Eats (click on photo for article).

Photograph: Anders Schonnemann. As seen on Serious Eats (click on photo for article).


All amusement aside, I’m still not sure where I fall on the whole mashup genre (is it a genre? Did I just insult music fans everywhere by bastardizing that word?). But don’t get me started on remaking movies and tv shows….