By Eliza Berman
November 26, 2014

The first brilliant take on Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was the brainchild of Zach Galifianakis, who brilliantly (and inexplicably) lip-synced the song while gyrating on a tractor. The second comes courtesy of Carlos Serrano, whose SoundCloud page is a tiny universe of creative mash-ups. Serrano layered West’s 2007 Grammy-nominated song over Sam Smith’s heart-wrenching ballad “I’m Not the Only One” to surprisingly successful results.

The simple piano melody and lilting strings of Smith’s track imbue the rap song with a sense of calm and resignation not found in the original. Does it work thematically? It’s definitely a stretch. One song is about money and bravado, and the other, about the victim of an unfaithful partner. But no matter, because the mash-up is all about the sonic blend.

Serrano’s mash-ups of TLC and Haim, The Notorious B.I.G. and Ellie Goulding, and Rihanna and Daft Punk are also worth a listen. The best musical marriages are often the least expected.

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Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com.

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