N.A.S.A. featuring everybody in the world on The Spirit Of Apollo


Beat-making duo Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon decided a few years ago to get some friends and famous people together to make a ridiculous collaboration album that would be totally rad. Well this past week that album came out and you know what, it’s totally rad. 

Under the name N.A.S.A. (North America South America), the duo released The Spirit of Apollo which is basically a bunch of tracks that feature several artists each rapping and singing and being cool and famous. The guest list is pretty extensive and includes the likes of Kanye West, Lykke Li, Santogold, M.I.A., Karen O, David Byrne, Tom Waits, Spank Rock, Chuck D., Method Man and a ton of others. On paper, the list of performers is intimidating, but in practice it works well. Clean and Zegon do a good job at keeping egos checked and focusing on the tracks. 

Most of the songs are very produced (but like, what isn’t these days?). There are always about a thousand things going on at once, and it can be a little overwhelming. Yet N.A.S.A. does a great job multitasking and keeps everything going without falling overboard. What the Apollo basically sounds like is a giant hip-hop collaboration. Which, in essence, it is. Some people see that as a problem, but I see it as a very ambitious, well-made project. Some artists have more prominent roles than others, and that’s fine. It all meshes together well.

David Byrne’s two tracks, “The People Tree (ft. Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab and Z-Trip)” (I posted the awesome video earlier here) and “Money (ft. Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge and Z-Trip)” are clear highlights, as are “Strange Enough (ft. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Fatlip)”, “Whachadoin (ft. Spank Rock, Santogold, M.I.A. and Nick Zinner)” and “The Mayor (ft. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface and DJ AM).” The project apparently took forever to make, so don’t expect a sophomore effort from N.A.S.A. anytime soon– or maybe ever. 

The Spirit of Apollo is out now on Anti-. You can pick it up on Amazon or iTunes or just listen to a couple tracks below. I’m pretty sure they used the sad dog sound from Nintendo’s Duck Hunt on “O Pato.” 

N.A.S.A. – “Strange Enough (ft. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Fatlip)” [MP3]

N.A.S.A. – “Whachadoin (ft. Spank Rock, Santogold, M.I.A. and Nick Zinner)” [MP3]

N.A.S.A. on MySpace

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