Six Degrees Of Music Separation (Screenshot:

Quickly now, how are Color Me Badd and Daft Punk connected? They’re not, you say? Well, it’s time to get schooled. Color Me Badd’s “Time And Chance” was sampled on “How We Bullshit” by Slum Village, who also remixed a Daft Punk song called “Aerodynamic.” That’s just two degrees of separation, not nearly enough to beat Six Degrees Of Music Separation, a simple but addictive new game at the invaluable music database Who Sampled. That site, which dutifully catalogs samples and cover versions, is an incredible storehouse of music industry knowledge. The whole point of the site is to show how songs and artists are connected to one another, with samples and covers uniting artists from different genres, countries, and eras. No musician is an island, the site proves. Everything comes from someplace else. Who Sampled has spent years building up its treasure trove of facts. Why not take all of that information and turn it into a game?

The point of Six Degrees Of Music Separation is very simple, and the rules will be immediately clear to anyone familiar with the Kevin Bacon version. On the game’s main page, the player encounters this very intuitive interface:


See? Couldn’t be easier. Type a name in the top box, type another name in the bottom box, click “Let’s Go,” and hope for the best. Like chess, this is a game that takes but a moment to learn and a lifetime to master. None of those suggested combos are winners, for instance. Kanye West and Taylor Swift, like Color Me Badd and Daft Punk, are just two lousy degrees apart. Both West and Swift have featured Kendrick Lamar on their songs, the former on “No More Parties In L.A.,” the latter on “Bad Blood.” The Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton connection will actually get a player a little closer to the grail, so to speak. Obama and Clinton are four degrees apart. Trifle has sampled both Obama and LL Cool J. And LL appeared on a song with Jennifer Lopez, who in turned sampled a speech from Clinton. Convoluted, yes, but that’s how the game is played.

[via Laughing Squid]