Friday 27 November 2009
The rock/rap album has had mixed results. Since Run-DMC's reworking of Aerosmith's 1975 single "Walk This Way", there's been the likes of nu-metallers Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.
The blues-rock duo The Black Keys, from Ohio, are the latest to have a go – despite foreboding advice from Dangermouse, the producer of their 2008 album, Attack & Release.
Bringing together their favourite hip-hop stars, including Mos Def, Q-Tip, Raekwon, RZA, Pharoahe Monch and the soul and R&B singer Nicole Wray, they've created a new group, BLAKROC. The group's self-titled album is a success story that has found critical acclaim across the board.
In keeping with The Black Keys' live approach, no samples were used; each artist recorded their vocals live as they dropped by the Brooklyn studio over the summer. The photographs here show the artists recording in the studio.
Blakroc also includes a song featuring the late Wu-Tang founder Ol' Dirty Bastard. He'd been signed by the Blakroc executive producer Damon Dash and recorded an album before his death, which has never been released.
"What it meant to me was something I always knew," says Pharoahe Monch. "Great rock music and great hip-hop music, fused together, can create undeniable greatness."
Q-Tip adds: "While collaborating in the studio with The Black Keys and Damon Dash may seem like an unusual fit, it felt natural."
Today – the release date for Blakroc in the US – has been dubbed "Blak Friday" by independent record stores selling the album, which is out in the UK on 7 December.
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