Last week, Max Tannone was a 22-year-old employee of an NYC post-production company who dabbled in making beats. Then he combined the powers of [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] and [artist id="1123"]Radiohead[/artist] on his MySpace page. And suddenly, things changed.
Overnight, Tannone became Minty Fresh Beats, creator of the Net's most-buzzed-about album (aside from, you know, Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion), a 38-minute mash-up of tracks from Jay and Radiohead that he dubbed Jaydiohead. The album — which he made available for download at Jaydiohead.com — quickly made the rounds on message boards and music blogs, earning praise (and a few mean-spirited jabs too) and making Tannone a minor celebrity in the process. All of which he finds rather surreal.
"Ever since I was 16, I've been making beats and remixing different a cappellas and instrumentals into original songs, but I was just doing that for fun," Tannone told MTV News on Tuesday (January 6). "I always just sort of used the name 'Minty Fresh Beats,' even though it doesn't really mean anything. About a year ago, I did an early mix of Jay-Z's 'Pray' with Radiohead's 'I Might Be Wrong,' and I just put it up on my MySpace page, and it just sat there. But I always thought it would be a fun project to do a whole Jay/Radiohead album."
So in August of last year, Tannone began working on what would become the Jaydiohead album — "I was like, 'F--- it, it's something for me to do. Either watch TV or work on the album,' " he laughed) — and when he finished, he decided to post a link to it on his MySpace page. He insists the goal was never to get famous, but "just to have people like it."
"I didn't want people to see it as a promotional vehicle, like, 'Oh, here's my résumé!' or something like that, but if they liked what they heard, and it led to more [music] production work, then I was all for it," he explained. "I knew the idea of a mash-up has been done to death, but I wanted to restructure these songs, to give them new choruses and make them sound like new songs. Plus, I think a lot of songs off Jay's American Gangster album are amazing, and I feel like it was kind of slept-on, so I wanted to give it some shine."
And though Tannone claims he has no idea how many times Jaydiohead has been downloaded through his site (he doesn't host it, or something to that effect), he said that a quick Google search turned up Russian, Spanish and French music blogs writing about the album. Now all that's left is for one of his subjects — either Jay or the guys in Radiohead — to reach out to him, and he said that his impromptu musical career will be complete.
"I would be speechless if I heard from any of them," Tannone laughed. "If any of those guys even listened to it and said they didn't hate it, that would be cool with me. But they probably have way better things to do with their time. The fact that it got that close to either of those guys is amazing enough for me."