And here we have another one of these “versus” tracks again (not to be confused with the previously-reviewed Versus). Here, it’s a collaborative mashup track between Dutch electro-house musician Mason and American rapper/DJ Princess Superstar. Mason, like many of the producer-DJs I’ve covered on this challenge so far, finds most of his underground success with the house scene, and especially with the electronic music boom of the early-/mid-2000s. He’s remixed artists as varied as Moby, Steve Aoki, 2Unlimited, and Robyn. On top of this, he has a recording career of his own, having reached #1 on the UK Dance charts with his breakthrough single “Exceeder”. He has collaborated with numerous artists throughout his career, his most recent single being his and Stefflon Don’s “Fashion Killa”, which went to #4 in the UK last year.
Princess Superstar gained notoriety with her breakthrough in the mid-90s for being one of the only White female rappers at the time (or any time, really – Iggy Azalea is all we really have these days). One of her first big singles was “Bad Babysitter”, which I think perfectly exemplifies her style – casual, steady flows with a tongue-in-cheek personality laid atop candy-coated production. Think Eminem’s “Slim Shady” tracks from the late 90s/early 2000s without all the controversy. The most interesting aspect of her career, I think, comes with her futuristic concept double-album My Machine (2005), from which her original single “Perfect” comes. I haven’t listened to the entire album, but with the sleek production and terrific vocal delivery from Princess Superstar herself, I’d be more than willing to give it a go whenever I can.
Both artists’ careers came to an apex with their collaborative mashup “Perfect (Exceeder)”, which charted in several countries and is far-and-away the most commercially successful efforts from either of the two. I’ve listened to both tracks separately, and I gotta say that the idea for this mashup is pretty brilliant. Both parts are edited in ways that highlight the very best parts of the original singles. In the verses, Mason’s buzzing electro-dance production provides great backup for Princess Superstar’s cheerfully boastful lyrical delivery. It gets a bit clumsy with the chorus, though – as Princess Superstar chants out her main driving hook of the entire song (“1-2-3-4 / Let me hear you scream if you want some more / Like uh, push it push it / Watch me work it; I’m perfect”), Mason delivers the electronic riff that is the centerpiece of his own “Exceeder”. It just sounds like they’re both trying to compete for attention, and it’s especially distracting if you’re already mildly familiar with both of the original tracks.
Still, though, it’s not half bad, and a lot of its positive aspects come primarily with Princess Superstar. She has such a vibrant personality throughout the whole track, with her lines and the performance of them reminding me a lot of Brazilian group CSS, particularly their song “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above”. The 2000s were pretty much a great time to be an eccentric, artistic female performer and PS is a great example of that. A couple lines (“The look, the lips, the tits, the taste / The hair, the eyes, the skin, the waist”) are even pretty reminiscent of a P. Diddy song from the early part of the decade, which automatically makes this so wonderfully dated. As I said before, though, the idea to mash this up with the Mason track, although not executed as perfectly as it might have been, is still pretty ingenious and resulted in a pretty awesome electro-dance track nonetheless.