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This Notorious B.I.G. and ‘Star Wars’ mashup is downright inspired

Ten years after rap mashups wore out their welcome, a surprisingly palatable mix.


Clyde Lovellette


Posted on Dec 2, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 1:52 pm CDT

The upcoming Star Wars movie, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is set to come out on Dec. 18. What better way to celebrate its release than with a style of music that hasn’t been cool since the last movie in the franchise?

It’s been 10 years since Revenge of the Sith, which wasn’t long after DJ Danger Mouse did a whole mashup album of Jay Z and the Beatles. That bootleg, The Grey Album, led to a big legal battle for its use of unauthorized samples and also spawned countless copycats, splicing the most ridiculous juxtapositions. Even then there were a bunch of nerdy Star Wars ones.

Even though mashups themselves have become a bit passé, a couple of dedicated nerds have taken the opportunity to set a bunch of Notorious B.I.G. songs to the rich orchestras of John Williams’ original score. As far as timeliness, the project would be like if the Star Wars disco album came out right before Episode I in the late ’90s rather than 20 years earlier.

This week’s Life After Death Star comes from a couple of unknown producers. The apparent Fort Worth, Texas, duo is called the Otaku Gang and it’s made up of Solar Slim, who produced the minor hit “Homegurl (He Gotta)” by rapper Bone; and Richie Branson, who describes himself as a nerdcore rapper. (Nerdcore, as I just learned, is a rap subgenre made up of a bunch of random dorks, including Childish Gambino, who rap about comic books and Jedis.) 

Despite the opportunistic marketing tie in, this end result is downright inspired. It moves well beyond stretching acapellas over the “Imperial Theme.”

The songs cull from Biggie’s whole discography and the loops created from the Star Wars soundtrack fit strongly. There’s 15 tracks plus a couple interludes, so it stretches pretty long. For some inexplicable reason none of the songs use “Hypnotize,” which includes the line, “Hit ‘em with the force like Obi.” After a quick listen, “Nasty Boy” and “Machine Gun Funk” work the best.

Take a listen below to Life After Death Star by Otaku Gang.

Photo via HipHopDX/Twitter

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*First Published: Dec 2, 2015, 10:00 am CST