Hold Me Closer, Biggie: The Top 5 Girl Talk Moments

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DJ Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk performs on stage during Bonnaroo 2009

Katie Stratton/Getty Images

As an homage to Girl Talk, every word in this blog post is actually taken from a great work of Western literature!

DJ/master sampler Girl Talk (real name: Gregg Gillis) released his fifth album, All Day, free into the world today. (It’s available at the Illegal Art website, but good luck getting it to work.) We haven’t heard it yet, but judging from the sample list, it’s going to be awesome. Peter Gabriel vs. Foxy Brown? “Idioteque” vs. “Shout”? We’re already throwing our hands up.

So as we search for a download stream that actually works, let’s take a look back! Here are NewsFeed’s Top 5 Girl Talk Moments:

5. Girl Talk Remixes “Let’s Call It Off ” and “Knife” [tie]

Peter Bjorn And John and Grizzly Bear were two of 2007’s hottest indie acts, but even the hippest hipster would have trouble actually dancing to them. That’s where Girl Talk came in, giving each a driving dance beat, some screwy synths, and in the case of Grizzly Bear, a boisterous Clipse sample to rid the song of its last dirge-like qualities.

More on TIME.com: Read an interview with Girl Talk

4. Hole Takes On Splack Pack


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Nothing on Girl Talk’s 2004 album Unstoppable hit the party music highs of his later hits, but the brash opening of “Cleveland Shake” laid the foundation. Using instantly familiar rock riffs to back up ’90s rap became Girl Talk’s bread and butter during his rise to prominence.

3. Jessie’s Girl Is Alright, But…


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NewsFeed is probably (OK, definitely) immature, but that Three Six Mafia sample in Feed The Animals‘ “Here’s The Thing” makes us chuckle every time.

2. All Of “Hold Up”

Many Girl Talk songs understandably slag off some time in the middle, but “Hold Up” goes from strength to strength to strength. First Ludacris’s beats chirp along to the dulcet tones of James Taylor, then the Pixies back up Nas’s boasts, then Weezer’s soaring guitar takes us home. Stitching the whole thing together is a turbulent synth line that Gillis programmed himself. See, he can actually make music!

More on TIME.com: The top 100 albums of all time

1. “Juicy” and “Tiny Dancer” Make Sweet Music


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Did you expect anything else? The platonic ideal of a Girl Talk mashup, the 70-second duet between Elton John’s piano riff and Notorious B.I.G.’s rhymes was the high point of Night Ripper, and possibly Gillis’ whole career. The mashup re-contextualized both songs, bringing out the sweetness in Biggie and the triumph in Elton. To this day, when the real “Tiny Dancer” starts up, we have to restrain ourselves from singing along, “It was all a dream…”

Honorable Mention: The three-way battle between Rihanna’s drums, the Jackson 5 and Queen in “What It’s All About.”

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