It’s an unlikely love affair, but quite a few hip-hop heads have really been feeling Swedish indie-rock trio [artist id="2017962"]Peter, Bjorn and John[/artist] lately. From [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist], who sampled the group’s breakthrough hit “Young Folks” for his Can’t Tell Me Nothing mixtape, to [artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist], who worked with them on So Far Gone‘s “Let’s Call It Off.”
That sonic bromance is going major August 27, thanks to producer Mick Boogie, the man behind last year’s lauded Jay-Z/Coldplay mash-up mixtape, Viva la Hova. Boogie was recently handed the master to PB&J’s most recent album, Living Thing, and he’s done it again, overseeing a full-album remix dubbed Re-Living Thing that the acclaimed mixtape kid said is one of his finest efforts to date. The best part? It’s all legit.
The results feature an impressive roster of guest spots from the likes of Wu-Tang Clan’s [artist id="509028"]GZA[/artist], [artist id="1210186"]Kardinal Offishall[/artist], [artist id="2990927"]Wale[/artist], Young Chris & Rhymefest, [artist id="3174235"]Bun B[/artist], [artist id="1162710"]Talib Kweli[/artist], [artist id="22821"]Three 6 Mafia[/artist] with Trouble Andrew, Amanda Blank, [artist id="1566187"]88-Keys[/artist] and Big Sean with Black Milk. Boogie said he spent time with PB&J and was blown away by what hip-hop heads the soft-spoken Swedes are.
“Because of the success of that Jay-Z thing, great things have been happening,” said Boogie, who warmed up for the PB&J gig by reworking Adele’s Grammy-winning debut, 19, on the mashup album 1988. “This time the idea was not just remixing, but adding some vocals and getting two to three incredible, known blog-worthy MCs and putting them on every song.” As usual, Boogie’s job was more like a museum curator, gathering the MCs and a handful of up-and-coming producers and parceling out the songs after sitting down with the band and talking about what they had in mind.
“We talked music and production and artists and it showed me what a global phenomenon hip-hop is, because these guys who grew up in Sweden were quoting Wu-Tang lyrics — and they knew all the underground stuff, too, like Amanda Blank and Kidz in the Hall,” he said. Boogie gave the group — Peter Moren, Björn Yttling and John Eriksson — a list of rappers and producers he thought would work, they gave him their list and, in the end, Boogie said they got about three-quarters of the names they were looking for.
“I listened to the album over and over again and I learned it and loved it, and I thought about all the people I wanted to work with and who fit what and then … I would pick a producer for each song,” Boogie said. “After we got the beats back, I would listen to them again and see if the vibe changed and then figure out which artist was good for which track.”
The results will be unveiled as a free online mixtape next week, available, according to Boogie, “on all your favorite blogs.” Though there are still some guest spots that are in process and could be added up until the full tape drops, Boogie said he’s very happy with the results, which he said might prove to be a template for his future work. Along with legends such as Jazzy Jeff, Boogie tapped such newer producers as nVMe, a Brooklyn crew he said did an amazing job on “Just the Past” with Kanye West protégé Big Sean and Slum Village associate Black Milk.
With two songs on the album, Boogie’s former Ohio homeboys in the Kickdrums bring an aggressive sound to “Nothing to Worry About” with Wale, Young Chris & Rhymefest; and “Lay It Down,” which mixes the Three 6 Mafia’s thugged out Southern sound with Trouble Andrew’s more punk-rock-skater-MC vibe.
“I think this is a great model of how to do out-of-the-box stuff,” Boogie said.
The tentative track listing for the album, with more to be added later:
» J. Cole & GZA – “The Feeling” (remixed by Marco Polo)
» Kardinal Offishall, Donnis & Heno – “It Just Don’t Move Me” (remixed by Jet Audio)
» Big Sean & Black Milk – “Just The Past” (remixed by nVMe)
» Wale, Young Chris & Rhymefest – “Nothing To Worry About” (remixed by The Kickdrums)
» Bun B – “Losing My Mind” (remixed by 6th Sense)
» Freebass 808 & Amanda Blank – “Living Thing” (remixed by Apple Juice Kid)
» Talib Kweli – “I Want You” (remixed by William Russell / Good Life Mike)
» Three Six Mafia and Trouble Andrew – “Lay It Down” (remixed by The Kickdrums)
» Big Pooh, Chaundon and Phil Nash – “Stay This Way” (remixed by Jazzy Jeff)
» Naledge & Mickey Factz – “Blue Period Picasso” (remixed by nVMe)
» 88 Keys, Outasight & 6th Sense – “4 Out Of 5″ (remixed by 6th Sense)
» U-N-I – “Last Night” (remixed by Remot)