For all the instances in music history where rock and rap mixed quite well — From the hip-hop influenced work of Blondie and The Clash to the high profile collaborations between Aerosmith and Run DMC, Anthrax and Public Enemy, and The Judgement Night soundtrack — it’s the one instance of rock and rap gone horribly wrong which perhaps had the greatest influence on the two genres current separation. After the musical and cultural wreck which was Limp Bizkit, very few wanted to be associated with the words rap-rock.
Now, nearly a decade past the Bizkit’s unfortunate peak in popularity, we’ve finally reached the point where it’s safe for rockers and rappers to share a groove. And who better to lay down said dusty groove, than Akron’s Black Keys. When their blues-rock stomp is cut to mid-tempo, as is the case with Blakroc’s “Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo),” the thick thump of drummer Pat Carney and the heart-felt riffing of guitarist Dan Auerbach sounds tailor made for hip-hop. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have Mos Def handling the first verse. If we’re easing ourselves back into a place where rock and rap can coexist and collaborate, it’s an asset to have someone like Mos Def on board. Someone who’s often integrated the sounds of Rock ‘N’ Roll into his own albums. Someone who won’t lay down a chorus of “Nookie.”
Blakroc’s debut album will be out on Black Friday, November 27th and is available for pre-order now, on vinyl or CD, at the Black Keys web shop.