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Coldplay + Jay-Z = 'Viva La Hova'

Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that equation. Let me break it down: Mick Boogie and Terry Urban are hip-hop DJs. Together, they came up with the idea for a mixtape that would combine a capella vocals from Jay-Z songs with beats sampled from Coldplay songs. (Think Danger Mouse’s 2004 masterwork The Grey Album with a different English band.) Mick and Terry produced a few of these mash-ups themselves, then recruited a bunch of other producers to help out with others. That is Viva La Hova, and it hit the Web earlier this week.

On one level, it’s almost a surprise that more people haven’t thought of this before Mick and Terry. After all, Jay-Z and Chris Martin have publicly shouted out each other’s work many times, even collaborating here and there. But album-length mash-up projects rarely turn out as well as they look on paper. Usually, you get a couple of legitimately clever tracks, then a whole bunch of awkward filler, like all the well-meaning people of moderate talent who tried to jump on the bandwagon after the aforementioned Grey Album.

So give Mick and Terry their due: Viva La Hova is actually really dope, front to back. They got a nice range of producers to contribute, from established underground talents (9th Wonder, 6th Sense) to lesser-knowns who I’ll be checking for in the future (nVMe), and nearly all of them came up with something worth bumping. The whole thing has given me a new appreciation for all sorts of Jay-Z and Coldplay tunes I hadn’t listened to in a while. I’m particularly fond of “Never Changing” (below), which oh-so-cleverly blends Jay-Z’s “Never Change” and Coldplay’s “We Never Change.” And don’t miss the spot-on cover art!

Viva La Hova is available for free download online. Anyone else digging it?

More on Coldplay, Jay-Z, and mash-ups:
EW reviews The Grey Album
EW chats with Coldplay about their album Viva La Vida
Jay-Z talks American Gangster with EW
DJ Earworm wins PopWatch’s Kanye West/Radiohead mash-up challenge

Originally posted October 31 2008 — 11:00 AM EDT

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