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Jack White Goes Hip-Hop With MC Black Milk

The White Stripes frontman teams with Detroit rapper on Third Man Records' first rap single.

Kevin O'Donnell // July 12, 2011

Is Jack White the next Dr. Dre? The White Stripes guitarist produced and performed on “Brain” and “Royal Mega,” two new songs from Detroit rapper Black Milk — it’s the first rap release on White’s Third Man Records, and hits stores today. Stream “Royal Mega” below (via Pitchfork).

White contributes drums to this track, and he adds a seriously fierce punch to a dirty horn and guitar-soaked groove, which weirdly comes on like Rage Against the Machine. “Another record that’s bringing the unexpected,” Milk boasts, before the track goes double-time with a funked-up vamp that recalls James Brown’s backing band playing at their hardest. Sweet!

White should cast a well-deserved spotlight on Black Milk, aka Curtis Cross, whose last two records — 2008’s Tronic and 2010’s Album of the Year — were promising steps forward.

Pick up Black Milk’s single over at iTunes. You can also hear the similarly brassy, organ-kissed “Brain” here.