Release Date: Feb 17, 2009
Record label: Anti
The name's more earthbound than you think: the initials represent the origins of North American producer Squeak E Clean and South America's DJ Zegon. The pair have taken six years to compile the ultimate celebrity guest list, featuring 40-odd big names from George Clinton to MIA to most of the Wu-Tang Clan. Presumably it helped that Squeak, aka Sam Spiegel, is the brother of film-maker Spike Jonze.
They say too many chefs spoil the broth, but this is a little ridiculous. Boasting more star power than a socially impaired college freshman mastering Rock Band 2, N.A.S.A.’s The Spirit of Apollo is one part genius and nine parts overkill. I could spend fully five minutes regurgitating the bi-continental duo’s impressive buddy list for your reading pleasure, but ultimately the heaping up of talents—so unlike rocket science—bears no relationship to the laws of arithmetic.
As Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch proved, not all hip-hop collaborations are created equal. On their debut album, The Spirit of Apollo, N.A.S.A. (the North America/South America DJ duo of Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon) have so many collaborators (more than 40) they don’t have time to consider whether or not teaming up George Clinton and Chali 2na is really on the same level as having Kool Keith and Tom Waits on a track.
N.A.S.A. is an exhibition hosted by Squeak E. Clean, a producer who’s scored several commercials for his brother, Spike Jonze, and DJ Zegon that fuses the disparate sounds of the Americas in an hour-plus swirl. (N.A.S.A. is the lofty yet kitschy acronym for North America South America.) Clean and ….
Nasa, The Spirit of Apollo(Anti-), £12.724 stars The BPA, I Think We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat(Southern Fried), £10.763 stars Lately, hip-hop seems to be less "where you're at", more "who you know". Kanye West's records have been mindful to include a verse or two from Lil Wayne and T-Pain; acknowledging music's newest firebrands while underlining he still has the cultural capital to pull them in. And Eminem's Crack a Bottle isn't so much a comeback single as a bid to reclaim a heavyweight title - featuring as it does 50 Cent, Dr Dre and himself locked in some entertaining three-way chest-thumping ("the elephants have entered the room!").