Fat Jon & Styrofoam

The Same Channel

[4/5] It’s official: European electronic white boys are the new Kanye West, the perfect collaboration for “progressive” rappers looking to hip-hop on circuit boards and surf the digital waters far from the jagged commercial reefs of whistles and whispers. From Cincinnati via Berlin, this particular Marvel team-up is a true collaboration where neither artist overwhelms the other, a smooth collision between the laconic Midwestern flow of Fat Jon (no stranger to electronic artists from his work with Pole) and the melodic emo-tronica of Styrofoam (nee Arne Van Petegem). Granted, hip-hop and electronic music have a shared ancestry so incestuous it would make a Kentucky family reunion jealous, but the two divergent takes on “Upgrade” are effortlessly seamless in a way that should inspire others to experiment like this more often. Are you listening, Lupe Fiasco and Erlend Øye? (MORR MUSIC; morrmusic.com) Erick Haight