Mashed: The Story of an Album Cover

Words, Pictures, Humor

I was already a fan of Fela Soul, Amerigo Gazaway’s full album mashup of Fela Kuti and De La Soul tunes, so when he asked me to do the cover for Yasiin Gaye, the second volume of his project mashing up the music of Mos Def and Marvin Gaye, it took me a hot second to mull it over before saying yes.

The record has something of a backstory. Gazaway’s previous release, Bizarre Tribe, which set the vocals from The Pharcyde over the music of A Tribe Called Quest, met a quick internet death.  It was effectively shut down by Sony, who cited copyright infringement despite the fact that Gazaway wasn’t actually sampling ATCQ – he was sampling the same jazz and funk recordings that the Tribe had sampled for their recordings. Big fat irony, right? (For a fantastic documentary on the evolution of the fair use exception in…

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