About Amsterjam

NY Daily News’s Jim Farber previews tomorrow’s live mash-up fest Amsterjam at Randall’s Island.

Headlining the event this year will be two rock acts, Tom Petty and The Foo Fighters, joined by rappers Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J, plus reggaetone’s Tego Calderon and the Latin polyglot band Yerba Buena.

Last year’s inaugural version of “Amsterjam” lacked a musical director – and it showed. The headliners, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Dogg, didn’t really mash at all. They just played together in old-fashioned medleys or jams. The only two that really balanced their songs with equality and invention were Garbage and Peaches.

To prevent that from happening this time, [this year’s musical director] Jermaine Dupri has made “guide” mashup records that match LL with Calderon, and Rhymes with Yerba Buena. Live, those performers will mimic what Dupri created in the studio.

The producer says the through line on the pairing of Rhymes and Buena will be the beat from the rapper’s cut “Dangerous.” Holding to just one beat helps define a mashup. “If you switch the beat, then it’s a medley,” he says.

Petty and the Foos will decide on their own mashup, much to Dupri’s chagrin. He feels they’ll have their work cut out for them.

The “Dangerous” mention got me thinking (again) how funny it is that Busta unwittingly stole the song’s chorus from a 1983 Long Island Regional Poison Control Council PSA. I can’t believe it’s not on YouTube! So I put it up for ya:

Good luck tomorrow Petty/Foos. Anyone going?