Fringe: MGMT

Before Jay-Z reached out for prospective Blueprint 3 beats, Jim Jones was the first rapper to introduce the hip-hop world to synth-rock duo MGMT. The Harlem rhymer freestyled over the Brookyn duo’s eerie jam, “Electric Feel,” in 2008 as their critically acclaimed debut Oracular Spectacular was taking off.

A psychedelic tandem, MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser and Andrew van Wyngarden recall the likes of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix but more mellow. Their videos, like their lyrics, are otherworldly. In “Kids,” an infant is terrorized by zombies. In “Electric Feel,” they’re hanging out on a planet with a keyboarding gorilla, a guitar playing bear and a moon that they slice open for its neon nectar.

After a year that found them collaborating with Kid Cudi on his “Pursuit of Happiness” and being nominated for two 2010 Grammy Awards, the pair are set to release their sophomore album, Congratulations, this summer. If you’re not already up on them, check out some of the gems. –Brad Wete

“Electric Feel”