When you hear news like the above announcement, tweeted on Wednesday by Big Boi, that Outkast's resident pit bull breeder was in the studio with Issaquah OGs Modest Mouse, all you can do is hope for the best. (Although it should be noted that Isaac Brock has been rapping now for about 17 years [like Ratatat]; check the cadences on great old Modest Mouse tracks like "Summer," "Karma Payment Plan," "All Night Diner," or say, "Out of Gas"--dude is pretty much straight talking over beats [but is it even music?!]) Could the new album be called Turnt Up?! (Please, yes.) "Long live the funk"?! OK, guys. Fingers crossed.
But to keep it positive, why not let's look at a few other unlikely indie/hip-hop cross-pollinations of recent years--no Run DMC/Aerosmith--that have turned out pretty well (granted, these aren't all in-the-studio collaborations, but they at least might provide some inspiration/hope--or maybe it's just a good excuse to post a list of hip-hop acts sampling good indie-rock songs, let's see!):
1. Tyler, the Creator + Liars
Right now, it feels like Odd Future are opening wide enough that they could chew up and swallow anything they wanted--rock, dubstep, the Royal Wedding (my word, the Royals? They just don't care who they piss off!). Take this track, from the excellent introductory OF mix tape Radical, on which the group's de facto head Tyler, the Creator (aka Wolf Haley) tears up a sample of L.A. art rockers Liars' growling, murky stomp "Leather Prowler." As the Creator himself puts it: "Modern day Ian Curtis I ought've been . . . My television is eclectic/How can he move on from Waka Flaka back to Joy Division?"
2. SALEM + Gucci Mane
Gleefuly mush-mouthed (and ice-cream faced) Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane and Michigan witch-house slurrers/art-school fuckheads SALEM? That is what we in the industry call a NO-BRAINER. And nobody knows how to put together a good no-brainer like Mad Decent boss Diplo (see also: Hollertronix), as he does on repeatedly on his Free Gucci: The Best of the Cold War Mixtapes. Pass the cough syrup.
3. The Weeknd + Beach House
"Loft Music," on which artfully low-profile Toronto artist The Weeknd turns Beach House's slow-burning hymn "Gila" into helium-pitched, surprisingly funky R&B riff. If you haven't downloaded the entirety of House of Balloons yet, get on it already.
4. Dirty Projectors + the Roots
The Roots had Dirty Projectors singers Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, and Haley Dekle into the studio to record for some Roots material, so it's only fair the group would return the favor, joining Dirty Projectors onstage for the above rendition of Bitte Orca banger "Stillness Is the Move."
5. Blue Scholars + the xx
On for the locals (Mack + Beirut disqualified for obvious reasons), Blue Scholars' authoritative flip of the xx's "Intro."
6. Frank Ocean + MGMT
From the waaaay other end of the Odd Future spectrum, Frank Ocean, the crew's answer to Drake's Auto-tuned R&Bmo (that's R&B plus emo, natch), rapping over MGMT's "Electric Feel."
7. The Shins + Danger Mouse
Just kidding, that Broken Bells shit was on some Jay-Z + Coldplay levels of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
(There are a million other/better examples; feel free to add them in the comments.)