During an interview with Rolling Stone, Led Zeppelin’s founder Jimmy Page discussed and revealed his views on Led Zeppelin mash-ups with Rap and Pop singers.
In the interview with Rolling Stone, he was asked about why and how Hip-Hop is significant to him. To this question, Jimmy Page replied that he was interested in the way that Hip-Hop artists were educated in so many areas and admired their ability to combine all their knowledge to create another art form. He added that this was what Led Zeppelin did as well.
As you may know, Jimmy Page collaborated with the rapper Puff Daddy on the latter’s track called ‘Come With Me,’ in which the music of ‘Kashmir‘ was used. Even though Jimmy Page showed with this collaboration that he is not against the fusion of Rock and Hip-Hop, his views on the mash-ups posted online on YouTube were unknown.
The relationship between Rock and Hip-Hop is a complicated and widely discussed one. Thus, it might be a good idea to understand how it started and how it came to the point of a legendary rockstar such as Jimmy Page, collaborating with a Hip-Hop artist.
It is said that the flirtatious relationship between Rock and Hip-Hop began back in the ’80s. The first incident of Rock and Hip Hop sharing a stage was in 1981 when the famous punk rock band The Clash invited the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five Hip-Hop group to do the opening of their concert. The reaction of the audience was rather negative as they booed and threw beers at the Hip-Hop group.
However, in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Hip-Hop stars started using rock riffs in their songs due to their fascination with the long history and interesting culture of rock music. Even though the views on how much Rock and Hip-Hop music to suit each other varies, this has not stopped musicians from collaborating.
Coming back to Jimmy Page’s views on the mash-ups posted on YouTube, in comparison to the collaborations of Rock and Hip-Hop artists, Page said that he finds them amusing. In specific, he referred to the numerous mash-ups done with ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ such as the one with James Brown or Snoop Dogg, and said that it made him happy to see that their song’s riff was inspiring to so many.
He continued by saying that some of them are super-clever and that he has had a lot of fun seeing tracks using their songs’ riffs. He finished his answer by saying that the riff of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ brings a smile to people’s faces and that is exactly why he wants to create and play music.
Here is what the interviewer asked Jimmy Page after discussing his collaboration with the rapper Puff Daddy:
“Did it make you hear ‘Kashmir’ in a different way?”
To which Jimmy Page responded:
“Well, yeah. The whole riff of ‘Kashmir‘ is like a round – and then you’ve got this cascading stuff like you hear the brass parts on the final record. It’s just like ‘Whole Lotta Love.’
Have you seen any of these mash-ups that have been on the internet, with the James Brown one and there’s Black Sabbath, and there’s this and there’s that, Snoop Doggy Dogg? There are all these various versions with ‘Whole Lotta Love‘ because it’s a great riff.”
He continued by saying:
“There’s some super-clever stuff, but what it is for me, it’s like, ‘Great. If people think that riff is so inspiring that they want to do this with James Brown, for heaven’s sake, thank you very much. Count me in.’ [Laughs]
And I’ve had great fun with seeing all these things, and what it is, is something like ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ people sort of love that riff, and when they play [it], it brings a smile to their face, and that’s great. That’s why I play music. That’s why I want to create music.”
You can find the source by clicking here and you can also find the song that Jimmy Page referred to below.