Arts Desk

West Coast Rap Meets Trans Am

John Beckham is probably not riding the Wugazi wave: The producer, a member of local neo-soul outfit lowercase letters, was fucking around with Fugazi at least a year before those dudes from Minneapolis rode their punny mash-up to brief cultural relevance.

Still, it's hard not call Beckham's latest project Wugazi-esque: Low Rider Trans Am is a mash-up of West Coast rap classics and instrumentals from D.C. post-rockers Trans Am. On first listen, a crossbreed of Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Nate Dogg's "The Next Episode" and Trans Am's "Idea Machine" is probably too manic to work. I prefer the more percussive, minimalistic concoctions: Beckham's reworking of Pharcyde's "Passing Me" succeeds because, well, Trans Am's "Illegal Ass" could pass for a Clipse beat on its own merits. Confidential to Beckham: Why no samples from Futureworld?

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