There’s been a lot of buzz on the internet in the last few days about classic video game chiptunes being mixed with iconic hip-hop tracks. Earlier this week, 2 Mello released his first album Chrono Jigga to great praise. The 12 song album features a mashup of music from the classic Square RPG Chrono Trigger and a number of hit songs from hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. The album is a great one, but far from the first of its kind.
Timothy Jacques, the man behind Team Teamwork, has been mashing up video game music with hip-hop and rap tunes since 2007. His first album, The Ocarina of Rhyme dropped in 2009 and featured beats from Nintendo 64’s Ocarina of Time mashed up with vocals from rappers such as Busta Rhymes, Common, Dr. Dre, Slim Thug, Mike Jones and more. Since then, Team Teamwork has released Vinyl Fantasy 7 and Super Nintendo Sega Genesis. While Vinyl Fantasy 7 features music exclusively from RPG fan favorite Final Fantasy 7, Super Nintendo Sega Genesis includes music from the games Sonic 3, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario RPG, Yoshi’s Island, Earthbound, Super Metroid, Street Fighter 2 and more, mashed up with hip-hop artists Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Ludacris and Childish Gambino among others.
Conslayer managed to get a few minutes with Timothy Jacques to discuss the motivation behind his projects, the future of Team Teamwork and what video games he’s playing these days.
Conslayer: How long has Team Teamwork been on the mashup scene?
Timothy Jacques: I started making beats in late 2007 but didn’t release anything until 2009. I started DJing in 2010. So about 3, 4 years.
ATE: What was your original motivation to mashup artists like Busta Rhymes, Common and Gucci Mane with soundtracks from games like Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy VII and Sonic?
TJ: I love rap. I started making remixes with beats sampled from other unconventional sources, and in doing that found that the Hyrule Field theme was the right tempo to work into a beat. I dug a little deeper into that soundtrack and found a lot of songs were samplable. I tried other video game soundtracks as a result of the success I had making tracks with Zelda music.
ATE: Your various albums feature music from classic video games. Is it ever possible that we’ll see mashups featuring more recent soundtracks?
TJ: Nope. I’m done making game concept albums. I’ll still sample from video games (for example: A sample from Mass Effect 2) here and there. But I don’t want that to be “my thing”.
ATE: What games if any are you playing these days?
TJ: I’m currently in the middle of Planescape Torment, playing it for the first time. I’m glad I gave it a chance despite the super dated art style. It’s easily one of the best games I’ve ever played and I’m only about 15 hours in. I’m also playing Path of Exile (PC), Far Cry 3(XBOX), and Ridiculous Fishing (on my phone, especially when I’m in the bathroom at work).
ATE: There are a number of memorable Final Fantasy soundtracks. Is there a specific reason you chose Final Fantasy VII for the Vinyl Fantasy album?
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