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Wugazi Mash-ups are awful. Except this one.

The only thing worse than a mash-up? A mash-up involving a pun. But from the get-go, Wugazi seemed like an inspired idea. Why did this project—a free mixtape from Minneapolis producers Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy that dices together Fugazi and the Wu-Tang Clan—feel like a cultural moment? The D.C. hardcore legends and the Staten Island lifers have little in common: Austere Fugazi engaged real-life issues; Wu-Tang’s kung-fu fantasies made them hip-hop’s ultimate absurdists. Ah, but of course! This was the year cultural thinkers declared 1990s nostalgia to be in full swing. And Fugazi and Wu-Tang have that happy decade in common. But it wasn’t just about ’90s fans, now deep into their 20s and 30s, getting misty-eyed. The juxtaposition revealed things about both groups—for example, that Joe Lally’s understated basslines were actually pretty hip-hop, while RZA’s overstated horrorcore rhymes were actually downright terrifying. These aren’t reasons to be proud that Wugazi got higher billing than Lally at last month’s Fun Fun Fun Festival in Austin. But still.

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