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notorious b.i.g.

the notorious xx

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update (4/6/10): Dear Mitch, if you're holding this letter, you already know” unfortunately, the powers that be have been, and, perhaps unsurprisingly (but disappointingly), the people behind the hip-hop half of this project have demanded that the album download be removed. a small part of me hoped that the music industry would have seen the value in spreading a piece of art that melded two disparate performers’ work together, thereby introducing each artist to a new audience, but they must’ve been too busy suing 9-year-olds downloading mp3s to have figured that one out. the notion that this project would hurt the sales of either artist is, in my opinion, absurd. but my opinion doesn’t have lobbyists and legislation, and thus, is frankly not worth much.

thank you to everyone who checked out the record -- I’m truly grateful that you gave it a chance. the response has been overwhelming, and I really appreciate everyone who checked it out and sent a link to or burned a copy for a friend. you guys made this project what it became, and I really, really appreciate it.
In 10 days, it reached the top of the hype machine, got featured on top blogs and New York magazine, and reached an audience of a half a million people in 113 countries (check out the new press page for more). I never thought it would come close to reaching this kind of level -- I was hoping my friends would check it out and dig it -- and I owe you guys a ton for spreading the word: thank you.

to anyone reaching this page who wanted to check it out, I’m sorry that you’re not able to do so here. a little internet sleuthing should turn up what you’re looking for, but unfortunately, it won’t be on this page.

I am working on a new project, and encourage you to join the Facebook group to get updates if you’re into that sort of thing -- I’ll have new tracks, some merch soon, and am working on getting a live show/mini-tour together (if you’re a college student and want to book something, let me know). here’s to hoping that the music industry reaches a point in the not-too-distant future where mashups and remixes aren’t considered ‘unlawful acts’ :)

cheers, and thank you, everyone
-charlie (wait what)

...and the original post:
the notorious xx began as an idea in my sister’s apartment, where I was trying to figure out what it would sound like hearing juicy over vcr, and since then expanded to include all 11 tracks of the xx’s debut album chopped, sliced, and mashed up with biggie’s vocals. I made it over the span of a few weeks in boston, williamstown, albany, chicago, aspen, denver, and san francisco, and then mastered over 10 days in zurich, zermatt, london, san francisco, dallas, baton rouge and new orleans.

without the help, ideas, and support of a lot of people, it wouldn’t have been possible. thank you to everyone who helped out, gave me feedback, and otherwise influenced this project -- you were crucial in making this idea a reality, and I can’t thank you enough.

I had an awesome time making this album -- from the music to the art to the
video -- and I hope you guys have as much fun listening to it as I did assembling it. feel free to connect via facebook, vote on hype machine, get in touch via email, or tweet about it, but most importantly, if you like it, the coolest thing you could do would be to share it with a friend -- music was meant to be enjoyed by groups of people, and sometimes we all get so accustomed to being siloed off by our iPod earbuds that we forget that.

thank you for listening to my project -- I hope you enjoy it,

p.s. if you run a blog and want to write about it, that’d be awesome! if you
have any questions/want to do an interview, feel free to get in touch:
pr (at) waitwhatmusic (dot) com and check out this press release (PDF). enormous thanks to everyone who has already.

1. dead wrong intro
2. juicy-r
3. it's all about the crystalizabeths
4. islands is the limit
5. one more chance for a heart to skip a beat
6. suicidal fantasy
7. everyday shelter
8. basic hypnosis
9. infinite victory
10. the curious incident of big poppa in the nighttime
11. mo stars mo problems

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notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx: juicy-r music video

just finished a new video for the second track off the new record, juicy-r -- biggie’s juicy vs. the xx’s vcr. check it out on vimeo -- album drops in two days:

juicy-r [the notorious b.i.g.'s juicy vs. the xx's vcr] - wait what (mashup) from wait what on Vimeo.

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notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx [album sample 2]

juicy-r [notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx]


“born sinner, the opposite of a winner. remember when I used to eat sardines for dinner.”

juicy was the first impression that biggie gave a lot of us, and you couldn’t help but root for him -- there’s something inherently sad yet nostalgic about lines wondering ‘why christmas missed us,’ and though the track juxtaposes his former and current lives, he makes sure that the listener knows he’s still the same guy. despite his former circumstances, he does hold a faint sense of nostalgia for them.

vcr, with the chorus alone, reminds me of a couple watching their favorite old movies on a vcr in a basement somewhere, holding onto a different kind of nostalgia. this was the first track I made for the album, and it came about when I imagined the family room in my childhood home, and remembered seeing the super nintendo, sega genesis, and vcr all next to each other.

hope you guys get that sense of nostalgia with this track -- one week until the new album drops. follow on facebook or join the mailing list (on the right) to get a reminder.

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notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx [album sample]

it’s all about the crystalizabeths [notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx]


“player haters get away or my lead will spray”

crystalised is one of my favorite xx tracks (and pitchfork agrees -- #19 of 2009 :) I don’t know if the xx actually wrote it in reference to Stendhal’s concept of crystallization (a kind of “mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty”), but that’s what I think of when I hear the two of them trading lyrics back and forth.

whereas that concept of crystallization takes the quotidian and makes it serene, it’s all about the benjamins almost does the opposite, making the lavish sound commonplace. puffy and biggie talking about all that their newfound lifestyles afford them is actually (unintentionally) kind of banal -- cars and linguine dinners are certainly much less interesting than hearing biggie tell a story about his life before becoming famous. this track juxtaposes the ability of love to elevate the object of desire to become more perfect than he or she is with the vapid wealth-obsession that fame brought biggie.

just read that back, and that’s way too much pretension to use in writing about one of the best hip hop tracks of 1998 and one of the best indie tracks of 2009 being mashed up. sorry about that -- I really am. not enough to delete it, because I already wrote it, but it is pretty over the top and absurd. really, I am sorry, but I will say this: I bet Stendhal and Benjamin Franklin never imagined they’d be connected like this.

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