Tupac, Eminem, and … Thomas the Tank Engine?

What to artists such as Eminem, Tupac, and Drake have in common with Thomas the Tank Engine? We’ll get to that in a minute …

Music is a constantly evolving medium. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell, but every genre, regardless of whether it’s popular today or at the turn of the 20th century, can trace it’s roots back to some other form of music.

Take hip hop for example. While many people look at hip hop and rap synonymously, hip hop is actually it’s own subculture which derives from four different elements: Deejaying, rapping, graffiti painting, and “B-boying,”  which encompasses hip-hop dance, style, and attitude, along with the sort of virile body language that philosopher Cornel West described as “postural semantics.” (source).

With this definition, hip hop isn’t actually a genre of music, but rather a mash-up of various musical, artistic, and cultural elements.

In fact, the concept of mixing different, yet similar, elements of music and culture is not new. The practice of creating new pieces of work from re-arranged chords and notes from other songs stretches back to the beginning of music itself.

But in today’s digital music world, the art of the mash-up goes beyond simple transcription of notes from one song to another. Artists are now taking two very different songs, from different genres, which share similar note structure and tempo and combining them into something completely different from the originals.

One of my favorite mash-ups include the Linkin Park album, Collision Course, which mashes their instrumentals with Jay-Z’s lyrics.

So, what does this have to do with the artists I mentioned at the beginning of this post? Well, YouTuber KayLow, discovered that the instrumentals from the introduction of the Thomas the Tank Engine T.V. show creates a perfect bed of music for many of today’s rap songs and the results are awesome!

Check out the video below:

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