Sometimes when you put two vastly different things together, magic happens. Salted caramel, ketchup and scrambled eggs, bacon and ice cream… the list goes on.  This playlist celebrates the best of music’s most unlikely collaborators: Hip hop and indie rock. Shake up your normal summer jams with these unlikely pairings this summer! Take a listen and tell us your favorites in the comments.

MANIAC – Kid Cudi, St. Vincent

We love Annie Clark of St. Vincent and Kid Cudi together because they are both genre blenders. Annie’s combination of crunchy guitar and jazzy vocals make her incredibly dynamic. The song sampled is The Strangers from Clark’s sophomore album “Actor”. Kid Cudi’s easy, almost lazy-sounding voice and avoidance of typical rap tropes is a breath of fresh air. Cage’s verse add a dynamism to this song the brings the sonic elements of this tune full circle back to a hip hop sound.

Star of Wonder /None Shall Pass -Tor, Sufjan Stevens,  Aesop Rock (remix)

How this album isn’t blowing up is beyond us. Sufjan Stevens is known for his trippy and massive orchestral arrangements as well as his whisper-like voice paired with just a banjo or guitar. In this track, we hear samples from Star of Wonder off of Stevens’ “Songs For Christmas”. We don’t know much about the artist behind these remixes, Tor, but we can tell you that his attention to detail is insane. This tight, uncluttered mashup is a breath of fresh air.

Right On – The Roots, Joanna Newsom

The Roots are no strangers to crossing genres. They recently helped out Jimmy Fallon cover pop sweetheart Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. This time, they’ve breathed new life into and indie classic by reworking Joanna Newsom’s “The Book of Right-On from her 2004 “The Milk-Eyed Mender” album. Her quirky voice, the straightforward beat, and some serious spitting from MC Black Thought showcase the sonic beauty of simplicity.

Lost In The World – Kanye West, Bon Iver

Simplicity was they key to the previous two collaborations listed, but we’re talking about Kanye now. He’s anything but a simple man. Leave it to Yeezy to pick one of the only Bon Iver songs (“Woods”) with over-the-top a capella autotune to sample on this track. Lost In The World a dark, almost apocalyptic song that has some seriously crunched out bass and gritty digitized vocals. Pretty far from what Justin Vernon is known for (quiet guitars and subtle beats), but what do you expect when Kanye gets his hands on something?

Truth – Chiddy Bang, Passion Pit

Electro-darlings Passion Pit are not a very far-fetched choice for a rap song. Chiddy Bang uses their song “Better Things” off of the 2008 Chunk of Change. The call-response of the sample and verses laid on top by Chiddy make this clever, upbeat song even more danceable than the original. Blame Xaphoon for making this tune such an earworm! Check out this song and the other remixes on Chiddy Bang’s 2010 album Preview.


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