In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, we asked, “What’s your favorite song that originated on the Internet?”
The Internet didn’t create the mash-up, but the web is definitely a natural medium for it. Around the mid-’00s, there was a deluge of them, almost all of them forgettable or good for a few seconds of listening before moving on. But they never improved upon the originals or created something new that was better than the sum of its parts.
That was until 2007, when Chicago duo The Hood Internet released “I’m A Flirt (Shoreline),” a mash-up of R. Kelly’s “I’m A Flirt (Remix)” and Broken Social Scene’s “7/4 (Shoreline).” It’s not that the originals aren’t good, but together and retooled (The Hood Internet changed the titular time signature of the BSS song), they become transcendent—to the point that I can’t hear the originals anymore without picturing, and preferring, the Hood Internet song. It’s so damn catchy that I can pretty much listen to it on a loop. (I prefer the shorter version that appeared on The Mixtape Volume One, which nixes T.I.’s verse—it’s tighter and T-Pain’s verse works better.)
I’ve kept tabs on The Hood Internet ever since, but it’s hard to top what remains my favorite track of the duo’s. When Broken Social Scene played the Pitchfork Music Festival a few years back, I was hoping that Kells was waiting in the wings when the band launched into “Shoreline.” This year’s festival offers one more opportunity. Make it happen, Pitchfork!