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Entertainment Weekly


This mash-up of Kendrick Lamar and 'Take On Me' is surprisingly catchy

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; Rhino Records/YouTube

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In 1984, the Norwegian synth-pop band A-Ha released “Take On Me,” an iconic single about seizing the moment and turning your romantic fantasy into reality. In 2012, rapper Kendrick Lamar released “Backseat Freestyle,” a song about the powerful fantasies of young would-be artists — and itself a lead single for Lamar’s own star-making opus, good kid, m.A.A.d city. And now, in 2018, college student Noah Charlick has combined the two songs about fantasy and longing — with catchy results.

“i’ve either made a great discovery or a terrible mistake,” Charlick tweeted on Monday, alongside video of his mash-up in progress.

Charlick’s video had racked up more than 5 million views as of press time, which highlights the strange lack of music mash-ups in recent years. In the mid-2000s, producers like Girl Talk and The Hood Internet became big names for their ability to combine different songs into brilliant, all-new configurations. But the last Girl Talk mash-up album, All Day, came out in 2010, and the whole genre has died down a bit since its peak.

In a 2016 interview with Pigeons & Planes, Girl Talk (a.k.a. Gregg Gillis) was asked why music mash-ups seem to have faded in recent years. He theorized that the format’s popularity comes in waves.

“Maybe a lot of people were dabbling, and people who were interested in doing a mash-up five or six years ago might be doing a trap remix now,” Gillis told Pigeons & Planes. “It doesn’t have to be a specific genre of music. It’s just reworking music, and that hasn’t faded out. Things kind of come and go in waves, and even when I put out Night Ripper in 2006 I felt that mash-ups were dying down, and that’s why I felt comfortable exploring it. It was really booming in the early 2000s and it kind of died down, and then Night Ripper came and it picked up at that point again, and more people seemed interested in that sort of thing. I think it just comes in waves.”

Perhaps a new wave is beginning now. Listen to Charlick’s remix below, or find his Soundcloud page here.