If there was anything I learned from living next door to a houseful of bros during my last year of college, it was to love Jay-Z.
Because it seemed like he was blasting from my neighbors’ humble abode morning, noon and night. (Given that they were, more often than not, raging morning, noon and night.) But throughout all of the insanity, I think that the bros learned something from us as well. Because once my friends and I got ahold of those precious few Sleigh Bells demos floating around the blogosphere, they were on full blast for every taco dinner or weekend social event and became certifiable basement bangers. And on the rare occasion when all was quiet on my small town street and we weren’t blasting the tunes? The bros would ask me where the music was.
No surprise then, that when I caught wind of Jay Bells, the latest random mashup sensation out there, courtesy of DJ O-Face, I immediately thought of my former “neighbros” (as I liked to call them) and wondered what would have happened if this had existed during the brief time in which we dwelled in such close proximity. Maybe they would have invited us to rage with them? Maybe we could have reconciled our allegiances to Natty Light vs. PBR? Maybe they would have taught us their best fist-pumping technique? Perhaps we would have had more cred than just being those random radio station kids constantly throwing basement shows? I can only imagine.
So anyway, whether you run with the bros or not, as long as you have an appreciation for either Hova or the the crazy sounds of Sleigh Bells, you’ll get a kick out of these tracks. With Sleigh Bells’ monster beats, and Jay’s star shining brighter than ever, I’m really not surprised that they are now together. Some tracks prove to be better marriages of rhyme and “riot rhythm,” if you will, than others, but “Dirt on Your Crown” stands out as a personal favorite. The original “Crown on the Ground” is a rager no matter how you shake it, and I have way too many fond memories of dance parties ignited with just that opening guitar squeal…it also may or may not have had its own interpretive dance by the time graduation rolled around. Paired with “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”? Can’t mess with that. You must be intrigued by now, and just look at that cover art! Take a listen above or download all six tracks at bandcamp and whether you’d rather fist pump the days away or analyze it from a more cultural perspective steeped in irony, I’m sure you’ll find something to enjoy.