Cross-Overs: Five Unforgettable Musicians Who Switched Genres

This weekend sees the release of the new Tyler Perry film Alex Cross. The movie has been getting a fair amount of attention for not only being a Perry film where he's solely acting, but being his first foray into the action genre. That's correct, with no “Madea” in sight, Perry is attempting to enter the serious action actor realm.

This surprised us here at the Weekly, and reminded us of when some of our favorite acts in music have attempted to “Cross”-genres. It is with Tyler Perry's bold new world in mind that we bring you our five most memorable genre Cross-overs.

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Dee Dee Ramone does Rap (1987)

One of the most endearing qualities of punk rock is its unpredictability. Yet, even when rap was just starting to break into the mainstream, nobody could have seen Dee Dee Ramones' turn as Dee Dee King coming. While he put out a more rock-based rap album two years later, his 1987 debut single “Funky Man” remains one of the most unsettlingly baffling recordings ever composed.

Ween does Country (1996)

Ween's built a devoted fan-base through a discography so diverse, each album sounds like a masterful multi-genre sampler. Well, all but one does. 1996's 12 Golden Country Greats boasts ten tunes of nothing but country. Along with Ween's own gifts, what helps the album succeed is the assistance of some of Nashville's finest musicians, such as Charlie McCoy and The Jordanaires.


Pat Boone does Metal (1997)

How stable and successful was the music industry in the late-'90s? Well, not only did Pat Boone release an album of hard rock and metal covers, but it charted. While Boone's In a Metal Mood – No More Mr. Nice Guy did give us a classic cover art, the album takes the cross-genre aspect one step further, often re-imagining rock standards as jazz and swing numbers.

Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines – Right now by purplenippleac

Garth Brooks does “Chris Gaines,” who does Rock (1999)

Let's say you're Garth Brooks. You're one of the biggest acts in all of entertainment, whose live double-album just had the biggest first week sales of the year. How do you top it? By reinventing yourself as a fictional rock musician, of course! While Brooks' “Chris Gaines” album arrived with a television special that celebrated his alter-ego's completely made-up life, people didn't really take to it and plans for a full length “Chris Gaines” movie The Lamb never came to fruition.

Snoop Dogg Lion does Reggae 2012

How magic is the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg? Not only is he the reincarnation of Bob Marley, a person who at one point he was actually alive at the same time as, but he can take the crazy notion of jumping from rap to reggae and make it a worldwide event. While rap and reggae have crossed over to a degree before, from “Roots, Rap, Reggae” off Run-D.M.C.'s sophomore King of Rock album to rapper Aceyalone's recent reggae-themed outing Lightning Strikes, none have done it with the dedication to change their own household name in the process.

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