Hip hop + strings? Crossover gold.
You can't mention the hip hop + violin fusion/revolution without first giving a shout-out to Miri Ben-Ari, Israel's self-proclaimed "hip hop violinist" [pictured above]. The New School drop-out has been burning up the stage since early 2001 (with her first single "Peace in the Middle East"), and blazes ahead with her current single, "Symphony of Brotherhood", an ode to Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy. If you're not sure she's legit, she rolls with hip hop luminaries such as Wyclef Jean, Kanye West, and Jay-Z...
But even without all that stacked-up cred, we're slayed by Los Angeles violinist Paul Dateh, who adds to the cypha his four strings of sickness. Dateh's YouTube cult classic last year propelled him to notoriety as the hip-hop beat junkie on the fiddle. He's kicking off December with a West Coast tour, and an encore feature in the current Strings Magazine [photo above from article]. His official CD drops on January 27, 2009, and we can't wait to cram our ipods with the ~filez~.
In case you missed it when it first went around, here's the YouTube clip below. With mixmaster inka one on the turntables, Dateh churns out on his violin a playlist of A Tribe Called Quest's "Check the Rhyme", Jurassic 5's "Canto de Ossanha", Ghostface Killah's "Cherchez la Ghost", The Roots's "The Next Movement", Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy", and Johnny Pate's "Shaft in Africa".