Nintendo’s iconic Super Mario Bros. had already been available for two years before Kendrick Lamar was even born. Twenty-eight years later, as Super Mario Bros. turns 30, the Italian plumber’s soundtrack and the West Coast musician’s beats are the sources of the internet’s most recent viral mashup.
— The AV Club (@TheAVClub) October 12, 2015
The Super Mario mashup was constructed by Australian SoundCloud user victorylaptop. Despite the facts that he has only six followers (just four when this article was first being drafted) and this is only the second track uploaded to his account, the Super Mario Bros./Kendrick Lamar combo already has over 2,700 plays, even though it has been posted for less than a day. You can listen to the 95 seconds of a chart-topping hip-hop hit merged with the most recognizable video game theme of all time right here.
But two warnings should be noted.
First, if you’re unfamiliar with “King Kunta” — and Kendrick Lamar’s lyrical content in general — please note that the language featured in the Lamar song is NSFW. Second, as Joe Blevins from the A.V. Club noted, this modern hip-hop take on the “indelible” Super Mario Bros. 16-bit classic is “fun-filled” and “sprightly” and could very easily get stuck in your head for a long time.
SoundCloud, the site that hosted the Super Mario mashup, is “the world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere,” according to its own website. It makes sharing user-created music (and other content) via social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) incredibly easy. That’s how a mashup like this gets more than 450 times as many plays as the creator has followers.
The Super Mario Bros. theme — known to Super Mario enthusiasts as “Ground Theme” — was written by Koji Kondo and was introduced to American gamers’ ears in 1985 when the game was first released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Kondo wrote all of the music for Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda titles. The 54-year-old composer, designer, and director is still employed by Nintendo today.
The song that the Super Mario Bros. theme is combined with here is “King Kunta” from Lamar’s most recent album, To Pimp a Butterfly. Both the album and the single were released in March of this year. The song peaked at No. 11 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Rap Songs chart, and the single was certified gold in Australia.
The Super Mario Bros. brand has been in the news lately after the release of the instant favorite Super Mario Maker, which allows gamers on the Wii U console to create their own Super Mario levels. Even though Super Mario Maker was just released on September 21 of this year, it had more than one million uploads by September 28.
The “Super Mario Bros. Theme” can be heard on Super Mario Maker, as levels can be created for the original Super Mario Bros. game, as well as the Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.
The Super Mario-Kendrick Lamar connection is just one of many popular mashups that pop up on the internet every day. Just today, Time was reporting on a mash-up featuring video from The Walking Dead with the theme from Friends playing over it, while just last week they were reporting about how well an entire album of Kanye West/Weezer mashup songs (Yeezer) was received by the online music community (although the music has since been taken down due to copyright issues).
As of the publishing of this article, no Kendrick Lamar-inspired Super Mario Maker levels have been uploaded for the WiiU game.
[Image credit Christopher Polk/Getty Images]