Mon, 13 Apr 2009 08:26:25
"You could say we're very animated people," laughs Madcon's Yosef Wolde-Mariam. "We like messing around, and we don't take ourselves too seriously. To me, that's important, especially in hip hop. It's ridiculous how serious most rappers take themselves. Having to hold your pose and your cap a certain way seems like too much work [Laughs]. Fuck that."
The platinum-selling Norwegian cosmic R&B maestros are certainly having fun—even when they're sad.
On a bumpin' 21st century update of Frankie Valli's take-me-back anthem, "Beggin'", Madcon wind and weave intelligent rhymes over a spacey groove. An emotional hook takes hold, and the duo effectively launches soul into outer space.
While prepping their U.S. debut, Madcon's Yosef and Tshawe Baqwa sat down with ARTISTdirect.com to discuss "Beggin'" and share their playlists in this exclusive feature. What they're rockin' may surprise you…
Check out Madcon's playlists below!
Yosef Wolde-Mariam's Playlist:
1. Frankie Valli — "Beggin'"
"When we heard the 2008 version of that song, we were blown away. I felt the message of the song—'Don't be too proud to beg.' Valli was in that moment when it happened. The message of the song is 'be honest,' but in this macho culture, it's hard. Let's say you're chilling with your boys and your girlfriend just broke up with you. Your boys will ask, 'What happened?' You'll tell them, 'I was tired; I just dumped her.' Be honest about it. If that's what you feel, that's what you feel. Don't be afraid to say it."
2. Andre 3000
"It's sad that people's attention spans are so short these days. My biggest inspirations come from great storytellers, and they still exist in this day. We have Andre 3000, Nas, Scarface and Jay-Z. We come from those schools so we try to implement that in our music."
6. Q-Tip — The Renaissance
"I listen to Q-Tip's new album a lot."
Tshawe Baqwa's Playlist:
1. Frankie Valli — "Beggin'"
"Actually, I'd been at this concert after I'd broken up with my girlfriend. I was feeling very emotional, vulnerable and all that shit. After the concert, the DJ had played the Frankie Valli song, and I reacted to the sincerity of the way he delivered the song. He was man enough to beg for something worthwhile. It hit me because at the time I could relate to everything that he was saying. I called my boy Yosef up and asked if he was interested in doing a cover because we hadn't done that before. He was all for it, so luckily we did it. Be able to tell it like it is."
2. Raphael Saadiq — The Way I See It
"Right now I'm a real big fan of Raphael Saadiq's new album. It's ridiculous! I'm bumpin' that a lot now."
3. Queens of the Stone Age — "Go With the Flow"
"I love Queens of the Stone Age. I'm such a big fan. 'Go With the Flow' is my favorite Queens song—easy. The video is also beautiful. They're authentic, and they know the game. Much love to them!"