Timothy Jacques has been mashing up rap songs with iconic video games soundtracks under the moniker Team Teamwork for a few years now. He made a splash in 2009 with Ocarina Of Rhyme, his collection of Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time-themed mixes. (His combination of Jay-Z’s “No Hook” and the owl’s theme is a highlight.) Earlier this week, Jacques returned with a new compilation titled Katamari Da-Emcee, this time splicing together some of hip-hop’s best and brightest with the odd, exuberant sounds of Katamari Damacy.
Katamari’s eclectic soundtrack, which encompasses everything from glitchy electronic to arena rock ballads and some hip-hop of its own, would surely pose quite the challenge for mash-up artists. While some of Jacques’ mixes feel a little off—Kanye’s brooding “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” rhymes stomp all over the Katamari’s hyperactive theme on the collection’s opener—he manages to merge most tracks into something that starts off feeling novel and ends up more natural than it has any right to be. His mash-up of DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” with the bouncy big band of “Katamari On The Swing” is a treat.