The Beck/Kanye West/Beyoncé beef coming out of the Grammys has mostly been squashed at this point: Beck loves Kanye, Kanye respects Beck, Beyoncé would rather not be involved publicly in any of this–and Wayne and Garth think that Beck was a better musical guest on SNL than Beyoncé. The big question on nobody’s lips, then, is: What does Win Butler, frontman for Arcade Fire (who won an unexpected Grammy for Album of the Year himself a few years back), think?
The answer is: Beck’s breakthrough hit “Loser” and Kanye’s “Jesus Walks” would sound pretty friggin’ great in a mashup, apparently. Posting a track to Soundcloud as his alter-ego DJ Windows 98, Butler shared a mashup of the two songs that, to be fair, is a straight-up banger. Butler slows down Kanye’s vocals to put him on beat with “Loser”‘s famous acoustic guitar riff and stuttering drums, and then just lets West run wild over the track. It’s a cool reminder that, back in the ’90s, Beck was something of a Kanye West-like musical visionary–a genre-spanning mastermind who was happy to borrow folk elements, hip-hop elements, funk elements, rock elements, tropicalia elements, and more to realize a singular vision of his music. Kanye and Beck may have spent the past week positioned as adversaries, but as Butler makes clear in a four-minute mashup, the two do have a few stylistic elements in common. Even if the mutual reminder that each exists doesn’t lead to an actual collaboration (although if Kanye and Taylor Swift are reportedly heading into the studio together, anything’s possible), it’s interesting to hear through Butler’s ears what it might sound like if they did.