Laying vintage Mobb Deep raps over beats made out of sounds taken from the Super Mario Bros. franchise seems like the most basic of jokes, something that’s good for a 30-second listen and a chuckle before it’s consigned to the dustbin of your browser history. But Mario Deep, an EP with exactly that setup that hit the Internet recently, is almost shockingly worth listening to, far beyond the simple novelty of the conceit.
It’s hard to explain exactly why. Part of it seems to be that the producer behind the project, Baltimore’s Teddy Faley, seems to take it more seriously than you might expect. His arrangements are smart, and clever little jokes like following up a line about gunslinging with the blips that Mario makes when he shoots fireballs shows that he actually put some time and thought into what he was doing.
There’s also the fact that Prodigy and Havoc were such badasses at their peak that you could drop them in on top of the Nyan Cat song and it would probably sound thoroughly gritty and mean as fuck. Skeptical? Hit the jump to stream Faley’s Mario-fied version of “Quiet Storm” and see.