A mix record created by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist and released in 2001, in an edition of 6000 copies, by (or at least credited to a possible non-entity billed as) One29 Recordings. Product Placement is the followup to Shadow and Chemist's popular mix Brainfreeze, which was derived from a live collaborative DJ set the two performed at The 45 Sessions, a party thrown in 1999 by the San Francisco-based Future Primitive Sound Session. (Product Placement was also the title of a short US tour the two DJs undertook in the winter of 2001.) Brainfreeze spawned no fewer than three spinoff CDs, which included and thereby revealed most (but likely not all) of the ultra-rare 70's funk singles that were mixed. There have been no such collections created for Product Placement, and my net searches have turned up no cheat sheets, so I can only hit the highlights given my complete lack of knowledge of obscure collectible breakbeats.
Brainfreeze was named for the one big gimmicky find at its center. We don't have the pure star power of "Dance The Slurp" this time, but they try to make up for it with quantity: Product Placement is named for the commercial, promotional and just plain strange tracks littered throughout. Two versions of Coke's old "It's The Real Thing" jingle are mixed together into a loping jam full of melodic scratches, and the more obscure drink Strike Cola makes a musical appearance. There is a brief collage devoted to motocross for some reason, including what sounds like the Peanuts gang and a low-rent Burroughs impersonator. The graphics on the disc, and much of the color scheme, is sourced from the (presciently?) repetitive promotional cut "Milk: The Basic." (Is there anything that didn't have a celebratory funk single cooked up for it in 1973? They never do reveal the basic what.) An overexcited announcer spends a while making vague threats about an unprecedented radio campaign to make people thirsty. In what is perhaps the most disturbing find on the album, the ethnically diverse preteens dressed in chef's whites on the cover of "Cookin' With Gas" bring you... well, you'll see.
The start of the second track of Product Placement is actually devoted to a further deconstruction of Brainfreeze, composed of near-soundalikes (with alternate vocals and lyrics) of component tracks from that disc, or other arrangements entirely. These serve to illuminate the way 70's funk artists reprocessed each other as surely as hip-hop reprocesses them today, and it serves as a signal from Shadow and Chemist that, original-breaks CDs notwithstanding, they are still a step or two ahead of the crate-digging competition.
Like its predecessor, Product Placement is a witty, smart, and masterful display of the craft of the DJ as critic, as historian of both hip-hop and its source material, and as satirist (in a double-edged sense embodied by blues artists and funksters throughout the 20th century - you can tell the most acid truths if you get people dancing). It is another remarkable achievement by a team that has lucked upon one of those effortless collaborative combinations. The pictures are funny, too.