Good things come in threes, and Converse's Three Artists One Song series has gifted us a goody bag of genre heroes. In a new collaborative single, "Hero", The Clash's
Mick Jones and Paul Simonon have joined forces with Diplo
and Frank Ocean
for quite possibly the most confusing alliance of genres since Gorillaz. Hopefully this musical dream team will get themselves their own animated avatars and supply us with more bewilderingly brilliant collusions.
Somehow each artists' expertise manages to shine through in the sadly short song. The rhythmic strumming and playfulness of The Clash intertwine with Diplo's signature bass filled dub, but it all ties together with Frank Ocean's modernly soulful vocals. The West Los Angeles Children's Choir gets thrown in there too, as if the mixture wasn't mystifying enough. The central spine of the song though seems to stem from The Clash to the extent even Frank Ocean's vocals get punked out a little bit as he yells "What 'chu say?" The reverb filled riff in the background mixed with the choir traps the song into a melancholy limbo, not quite Punk, Hip Hop, or Electronic. For all those label obsessed hipsters, good luck trying to put a name to this genre, Punktronic-Soul Choir? Ya no, we'll leave it to the experts.