The Hood Internet are extremely lucky guys. There are countless laptop DJs doing (or really, trying to do) what they do, yet ABX (Aaron Brink) and STV SLV (Steve Reidell) are the ones you know. No one else has such a knack for melding beloved indie tracks with catchy radio hip-hop. Perhaps you were clued in to their site before they started DJing parties and shows and started downloading their (free) mixtapes, or perhaps you came to know them as the guys behind Album Tacos. Maybe you’ve just got a few of their mashups that sample your favorite artists. After all, it’s the internet; the possibilities are endless. I fall into the former category, and get just as excited for a new Hood Internet mixtape as I do with any LP from my favorite artists. And here’s something to get stoked about: on October 2nd, The Hood Internet are coming out with their own sample-free album FEAT on Decon. I’ve never seen them, but they’ve garnered a reputation for putting on fantastic live shows. Lucky for me, the guys are bringing their magic to the district tomorrow, and ABX stepped up to answer a few of our questions.
BYT: What inspired the project? Did you anticipate it would reach beyond the internet?
ABX: We definitely didn’t start out with any grand vision. We just wanted a blog to post mashups for our friends to download. The live show kind of grew organically out of that, but was never part of any plan. I think we were initially equally inspired by both the good and the bad mashups that were coming out at the time. We felt we could do it well and do it using the music that we were listening to.
Do the two of you create each mash-up together, or are they individual efforts?
The mashups are generally put together individually. Though we will often get input from one another. Things like our mixtapes, remixes, and original production we did for our forthcoming album are worked on together. Sometimes in person, but more often through the internet.
Are you ever surprised by the feedback from artists you’ve sampled?
I always get a little surprised when artists we use have heard the tracks we’ve done. As we’ve done more shows we cross paths with artists we’ve sampled for our tracks and people are usually pretty cool about it. Some of those meetings have led to making music together. We’ve got a record called FEAT that’s full of original sample-free tracks we’ve made with artists we’ve met along the way that comes out this fall on Decon.
How do songs become rejects; are they unpopular or did you decide you didn’t like them?
We always use the end of the year to put out some tracks that we sat on because something just wasn’t working. Sometimes these end up being songs that we like and end up playing out a bunch, other times they end up being pretty forgettable. But there are plenty of other tracks that don’t work out that never get finished and never see the light of day. The great thing about putting music out as a blog is that we can put out tracks as much as we want as often as we want. But we try to have some quality control.
You’ve stumbled upon this picture of RZA and Yoko Ono. What’s the mashup?
I would be pretty excited to hear the vocals to Ono’s “Walking On Thin Ice” over the beat to Wu Tang’s “Triumph”.
Or what about this picture of Elton John, Lady Gaga, and Sting?
I could really see them being assembled to work on a new Disney cartoon soundtrack.
Or this one of Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Rashida Jones, Kanye West, Aziz Ansari, Kid Cudi, and Tyler, the Creator?
I could imagine an epic GOOD Music posse cut called “Parks and Rec” that would feature all these people and the rest of the Parks and Recreation cast. I envision Ron Swanson making Rick Ross-like grunting sounds.
Do you find it difficult to enjoy music without thinking of mix potential of each song?
It’s on my mind when I’m listening to new music. But once I’ve gotten past that initial thought of whether or not it will work for a mix, it doesn’t really get in the way. Once a mix has been completed it can burn you out on the original sometimes because you’ve spent a lot of time listening to it over and over.
How often do you feel like breaking the two songs per mashup “rule”?
We’ve used more than two songs on a few occasions, but we’re not really interested in using 20 different tracks in one song. There are other people doing that and doing it well. We don’t exactly have rules we hold ourselves to, but there is some consistency to what we’ve done. I think the areas where we are branching out and changing up what we do are in the remixes, production work, and original collaborations we do. That lets us keep some consistency to what we do in our mixtapes and live sets while expanding to different ways of making music.
The Hood Internet will be at U Street Music Hall tomorrow with Capital Cities and Magic Man, brought to you by All Things Go. You can still buy tickets here; what are you waiting for?! We leave you with this remix of the Breaking Bad theme song if you still can’t make up your mind: