Animated bands have been around since Pebbles and Bam Bam first decided to jam (although Steamboat Willie could whistle something' fierce), but Gorillaz were the first animated hip-hop act. A means for Blur front man Damon Albarn to channel some of his funkier inspirations, the group included several notable hip-hop collaborations such as Dan The Automator and Del the Funkee Homosapien, and would be brought to life visually by Tank Girl comic creator Jamie Hewlitt. Their eponymous debut was met with critical and commercial success. The 2005 follow-up, Demon Days was also well received both critically and commercially, led by single "Feel Good Inc." featuring hip-hop trio De La Soul.
Love Brit Pop though we do, the genre could often lack the bite that other types of music had; Blur's 13 album was basically folk music, you know. But when the Gorillaz single, "Clint Eastwood" dropped, featuring an amazing hip-hop beat, the rap stylings of Del the Funky Homosapien, and the hypnotic and catchy Albarn-sung chorus announcing, "the future is coming on," the world knew change was in the air. If the music was electrifying, it was only equaled by the artwork, a hybrid of anime and graffiti featuring characters who looked like they'd stepped right out of a dark graphic novel. If their new material delivers even half of the debut, it will be well worth the wait.