Thursday, September 6, 2007
J.J. Brown mixes Hall & Oates & Gym Class Heroes
J.J. Brown is makin' major moves! Following the mainstream attention he received for re-working Ludacris' most recent album using Jackson 5 songs as the template (you can download it here), J.J. has taken on the task of melding Gym Class Heroes "As Cruel As Schoolchildren" with Hall & Oates entire catalogue!!
"We've been making indie rap records since 1998, and Trav has always been a huge fan," Brown explained of the relationship, which began a few years ago when the Heroes opened up for Brown's crew. After the Luda album was released, McCoy called up and asked if Brown and his 5G Productions team could do the same with the Heroes' album.
"We asked him if he had any suggestions for catalogs — and he didn't know our camp were huge fans of Hall & Oates — and [McCoy] stuttered a bit and said, 'What about Daryl Hall and John Oates?' since [the Heroes' summer] tour was called 'Daryl Hall for President,' " Brown recalled. "The timing was crazy, because we almost did the Ludacris album with Hall & Oates, so we had the stack of records waiting for the next thing."
Not only did 5G not get a cease and desist from the Hall & Oates camp, Brown said, but in a remarkable coincidence, a company that bought the blue-eyed soul duo's catalog sent out an e-mail to the managers of several hot groups earlier this summer asking them if they had any ideas for new ways to market the tunes. That led to a meeting with the new owners of the H&O catalog, which Brown said went better than he could have imagined. "We got past song number two, and everyone is on their Blackberries!" he said. "Hall & Oates' managers are on the phone, the original producers of the tracks are on the phone. When I imagine in my fantasy world what might happen with a great idea, it was happening. We're New York hip-hop producers, and we're used to sampling things and hoping the artists don't catch us. Now we're doing it with their blessing and they're impressed with what we're doing."
How impressed? Two weeks ago, Brown and his partner were given the VIP treatment at a Hall & Oates show in New York, where the duo were as excited to meet Brown as he was to meet them. "I was trying not to be star-struck, but whenever I paid them a compliment, they hit us back with five more."
No release date has been set for the Heroes match-up album so far, but Brown said he's been told it might be part of a package the group is planning to release before the end of this year.
Download "7 weeks" Gym Class Heroes
Download "Re-Release Therapy" Ludacris & The Jackson5
interview via MTV.com