Twice I’ve started to post this and then discarded the entry because it felt really random. And then I thought, the hell with that. It’s my blog — I say who, I say when, I say… WHO… So I’m back to posting this. Yes, it’s a video, and yes, it’s a mashup. Part of the reason I’m drawn to it is because it slams together two catchy tunes made popular 20 years apart. (Twenty!) MC Hammer’s Too Legit to Quit, and Psy’s Gangnam Style, as performed earlier this year on the 2012 American Music Awards.
I think one of the reasons this particular mashup strikes a chord with me (Ha! See what I did there?) is because I remember when each of these hits became blockbusters in their prime. You heard the song everywhere, and mainstream radio just couldn’t get enough. Now more than ever, you see a culture of building on the original — and I think that’s here to stay, thank you YouTube and copyright be damned. Lawrence Lessig’s Remix is about leveraging value from sharing economies; but I think the value in this remix is leveraged specifically from sharing popular culture between generations. While this performance isn’t an exact remix (both original artists perform together, rather than having two separate performances edited to become a new one), watch the audience’s response. They’re animated. Singing. Dancing. There’s a resonance here — and let’s not forget that Gangnam Style is being sung to an American audience completely in Korean. And bring out MC Hammer? Pure inspiration. The audience goes wild, with the clear recognition from the older audience members as well. Psy’s doing Hammer moves, Hammer’s doing it Gangnam style; Psy’s wearing Hammerpants and Hammer’s wearing Psy’s tux.
I. Love. This.
Mashups and remixes like this can provide a bit of common ground between cultures of race, between cultures of generations. In this day and age, we could do with more common ground.
Plus, it’s catchy as hell.