Wu-Tang mashups are nothing new - from The Beatles to Warren Zevon, the Shaolin collective has been and remains one of the ripest sources for remixing and reconextualizing. However, when word dropped last week of Doomtree's "Wugazi" project - a Fugazi/Wu-Tang mashup - the Internet went abuzz. So far they've leaked one track, a mix of "C.R.E.A.M." and "I'm So Tired." A whole album, 13 Chambers, is due on July 13. Here are five examples of what we hope the finished Wugazi project will sound like.
1) Raekwon: "Ice Cream;" Guy Piciotto: the "ice-cream eating motherfucker" speech from Instrument
Without a doubt, a highlight of Jem Cohen's Instrument documentary is the scene where guitarist Guy Piciotto, having spotted some would-be tough guys in the crowd, lets the crowd in on a little secret: "I saw you two guys earlier at the Good Humor truck and you were eating your ice cream like little boys, and I thought, 'Those guys aren't so tough. They're eating ice cream. What a bunch of swell guys!...Oh, you're bad now, but you were eating an ice cream cone! And I saw you! That's the shit you can't hide! ... Ice cream eating motherfucker. That's what you are." It just so happens that there's a Raekwon track by that very name. This is such a no-brainer that we will be disappointed if it doesn't show up on 13 Chambers.
2) Wu-Tang Clan: "Can It Be All So Simple;" Fugazi: "Arpeggiator" Fugazi records are actually rich in drum breaks and instrumental passages, the product of the band's dub influence and Brendan Canty's expressive, explosive drumwork. Tracks like "Break" from End Hits and "Ex-Spectator" from The Argument are ripe for remixes. Here the instrumental "Arpeggiator" kicks Rae and Ghost's lament about their tough past and unsatisfying present into double time.
3) Ghostface Killah: "Shakey Dog;" Fugazi: "Waiting Room" "Shakey Dog" portrays a home invasion unfolding in real time. From the cab ride uptown, to Ghost's partner's odd reticence, there's an odd and sickening suspense before the deed happens (and of course, goes horribly wrong). "Waiting Room" is an obvious complement to the song's air of menace and dread.
4) GZA: "Labels;" Fugazi: "Merchandise"
Early in their career, both RZA and GZA got jerked by major labels - incidents referenced in "Protect Ya Neck," Wu-Tang's debut independent single. Since then, they've worked with major labels but on their own terms. On "Labels," GZA lays waste almost every single rap-related label with his characteristic rough/witty style. Fugazi, of course, never trifled with majors, preferring to stay independent through Dischord. Still, "Merchandise"'s anti-consumerist message still resonates with Wu's independent approach. Plus its opening guitar salvo matches GZA's low-key vocals perfectly.
5) Ghostface Killah: "Wildflower; " Fugazi: "Suggestion"
Let's face it: Wu and Fu aren't always on the same page regarding treatment of women. Ghost's "Wildflower" is a particularly vicious example, beginning with "Yo bitch, I fucked your friend/Yeah, you stank ho..." and scuba-diving further into the gutter from there. But match it with "Suggestion," Fugazi's famously powerful anti-harassment anthem, and all of a sudden you're giving the woman a chance to speak about a culture that empowers such abuse.
The Next Project We'd Like To See From Doomtree: "Todd Future," a melding of Todd Rundgren's music with the infamous LA skate/rap crew's lyrics.