A couple of Mad Men-hooked friends of I had bets on how the series was going to end. I favoured the DB Cooper theory; a few other thought that Don would jump out of a building, something foreshadowed by the opening title sequence. None of us expected the Coke commercial.
But back to that opening sequence. The Mad Men theme is actually entitled “A Beautiful Mine,” the 2006 product of RJD2, whose real name is RJ Krohn. If you did back into his discography, you’ll find the full version on an album called Magnificent City. Here’s the whole thing.
Fast Company caught up with Krohn to ask about that theme and what else he’s doing now.
“A Beautiful Mine” was released long before Mad Men existed. How did that song become the iconic theme, and how did it affect your career?
I’d always been a fan of the rapper Aceyalone, and sometime around 2004 or 2005, we started talking about making a record together. It was long and bordering on awkward; we would talk and talk, and nothing happened. He gave me an ultimatum and said we’re either going to make this record or move on, but we’re not going to talk forever. So we buckled down and made Magnificent City, and put it out. It was just a little underground rap record—neither of us were a big name; I cut my teeth making small-fry rap records. And as a DJ, it’s a nice thing to make an instrumental version of a record—back in the day, that was a highly valued commodity; people didn’t make them as much. So we made an instrumental version.
Read the whole thing here.