For Built From Scratch, the X-ecutioners’ 2002 collection of scratching and samples, the New York turntablists recruited a host of rappers, including Xzibit, Everlast and Inspectah Deck to add vocals. They also teamed up with rap-metal band Linkin Park to record the crunching pounder “It’s Goin’ Down,” which became a surprise hit.
So when it came time to record their follow-up album, Revolutions, due May 25, the X-ecutioners decided to again fuel their acrobatic scratches with high-octane doses of metal, only this time they summoned Rob Zombie for a remake of White Zombie’s “More Human Than Human” from 1995’s Astro Creep: 2000 – Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head.
“We liked the energy of the song, and naturally we felt it would be cool to follow up on what we started with Linkin Park and the new fans that we reached on the last record,” said turntablist Rob Swift. “Before ‘It’s Goin’ Down’ there were kids in middle America who knew nothing about the whole X-ecutioners vibe. Then, once we did that song, all these new fans came aboard and learned about the art of DJing and what we do.”
Working with Linkin Park, who are big fans of hip-hop and turntablism, was practically a no-brainer, but hooking up with Zombie was more of a stretch. “That’s why we wanted to do it,” Swift said. “It’s not something the average X-ecutioners fan or the average White Zombie or Rob Zombie fan would think of happening. Whereas, if we came out with a song with Limp Bizkit or Korn, that’s something that you could see happening. Why do something that’s expected? We wanted to shock people and do something that no one saw coming.”
The song features samples of the White Zombie original, along with new backing vocals from Zombie and rapping by underground artist Slug from Atmosphere. While Slug’s parts were recorded in the studio, Zombie was unable to make it in, so he and the X-ecutioners recorded their parts at home, then mailed each other the files.
“It was similar to what we did with Linkin Park, because when we did ‘It’s Goin’ Down’ they were on the road,” Swift said. “Rob Zombie is just into so many things, it’s hard for him to fit something else into his schedule. So we just made the most of it. Technology has made collaborations a lot easier these days.”
Revolutions also features a cut with Ghostface Killah from Wu-Tang Clan, Trife, and Black Thought from the Roots called “Live and the PJ’s”; a collaboration with Fat Joe called “The Truth”; and one with Dead Prez called “Sucka Think.”