It was only two days ago when the superfight of all superfights was announced. Boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. in one corner. And in the other corner, the most polarizing man in mixed martial arts (and perhaps in all of professional sports), “Notorious” Conor McGregor.
The fight everyone has been dreaming about is now officially scheduled for August 26. It will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That epic bout will see two different sports collide in one ring. So it only seemed fair to look at the musical equivalent. What happens when rock and roll powerhouses meet hip-hop superstars? Well, this is the result.
Here are the five best music genre crossovers of all-time.
Bring The Noise by Public Enemy & Anthrax
“Bring The Noise” was undoubtedly a hit with hip-hop fans. It was the second single off Public Enemy’s 1988 sophomore album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The song was already making waves for nearly four years before its genre-bending remix came to exist. But when Anthrax hopped on the track in 1991, it completely changed the game. Its ability to bring fans of both metal and hip-hop music is still almost unmatched. And for that, and its role in classic video games, it will live forever as one of the great crossover tracks.
Radioactive/m.A.A.d city by Imagine Dragons & Kendrick Lamar
I’ve already mentioned this song and Imagine Dragon’s ability to transform their sound in a previous article. So we’ll keep this relatively short. Say what you want about Imagine Dragons’ quality of music, but there’s no denying Kendrick Lamar is one of the best rappers alive, or perhaps ever. The Saturday Night Live version of the track is cool, but you’ll want to watch the original performance from the 2014 Grammy Awards for the full experience.
Walk This Way by Aerosmith & Run-D.M.C.
Similar to Public Enemy’s “Bring The Noise”, Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” was already a hit in its own right. But the 1986 version took the song to new, unimagined levels of success. It now featured the members of Run-D.M.C. dropping verses in-between the classic chorus sung by Steven Tyler. Run-D.M.C.’s “Walk This Way” peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the first hip-hop song to break through to the top five. And today it’s still credited as one of the primary reasons hip-hop is such a significant force on the popular music scene.
Lost in the World by Kanye West featuring Justin Vernon of Bon Iver
Now this might be a slightly controversial pick. First, it’s Kanye West and essentially everything he does is considered “controversial.” But secondly, it’s not necessarily a genre crossover. “Lost in the World” is the work of two different artists coming together for one common purpose. But that very reason is why it’s so high on this list. The song combines two genres so seamlessly that it really has no genre. And despite what you think or feel about Kanye, the man is a musical genius. And that genius is on full display with this brilliant track, as well as the rest of the songs on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Numb/Encore by Linkin Park & Jay Z
This final listing could really be any song off the 2004 EP Collision Course. Sure, if we look at it objectively then this may not be the BEST song featuring more than one genre. But if you were a teenager in the early 2000s, you know how big this song was and how significant it still is today. It’s basically the Millennials’ version of “Walk This Way.” And writing that sentence might be the only way I’d ever acknowledge being a “Millennial.” The only negative thing about this song and the entire project was that we never got a part two. But one can dream.