Ah, the Internet. Innovative, universal and beautifully illegal.

As DJ Dangermouse’s The Gray Album, a remix of Jay-Z’s Black Album and The Beatles’ White Album, makes the rounds on the illegal art circuit, another opportunity for a new wave of art is popping up.

No sooner had The Gray Album been snatched from record stores on the command of EMI than the Internet lit up with wannabe mix artists seeking the next big thing. The result: The Jay-Z Construction Set.

Spawned by two 20-somethings with a burning desire to get musical technology into the hands of the everyman, Claire Chanel and Scary Sherman are attempting to get the public interested in the remix album. The Construction Set is a collection of computer programs, canned beats and the original a cappella lyrics from Jay-Z’s reissued Black Album, which was completely free of beats.

The response has been an interesting one. The most notable attempt thus far has been the “Jay-Zeezer,” or “Black and Blue” project.

Undertaken by an indie DJ calling himself only “Mike,” Jay-Zeezer has already slapped together seven new remixes of Jay-Z’s Black Album by grafting them onto riffs from Weezer’s recently reissued self-title, the Blue Album.

It’s easy to understand that the Blue Album‘s repetitive, guitar-driven licks are damned near impossible to loop without making them tiring, but some interesting relationships do arise. For example, in the remixed “99 Problems,” the audience is treated to Jay-Z’s hook “99 problems and a bitch ain’t one,” immediately followed by, “What’s with these homies dissin’ my girl?” If nothing else, the humor value alone is immeasurable.

Some of the tracks are absolutely surprising, though, and they improve as DJ Mike continues to learn the software.

“Dirt Off Your Shoulder” goes very well with “Surf Wax America,” although the thought may have never occurred to anybody other than Mike. The distinctive intro guitar line is repeated in mono without drums, then with them in stereo. Jay-Z has his “middle finger to the law” and Rivers Cuomo is “bailing out because he hates the race.” Jay-Z tells the pimps to brush their shoulders off, Rivers says his “bunnies and honeys all come along.”

It’s extremely weird.

The production job is far from spotless, and there’s a long, long way to go before Jay-Zeezer will be as notable as the Gray Album. It’s the production model that’s interesting.

Jay-Z’s album was released sans loops so that, as he put it in an MTV interview, “producers would mix the hell out of it.”

The surprise is that there’s a market for raw a cappella vocals available for remix — at least on the Internet. And while the whole scenario is ripe with novelty, there is an actual community growing up around the relatively simple idea. What’s more, there’s almost nobody, including the makers of the construction set, trying to profit directly from their mixes.

The trend seems most popular among the indie kids. It’s already spawned another Weezer remix with the Green Album.

Perhaps the most promising project can be found on www.theslackalbum.com, which gives the Black Album a brush with indie gods Pavement.

Here the effect is more polished. There is a smaller emphasis on rehashing a whole album, and more focus on supporting Jay-Z’s vocals with specific loops. “Trigger 4th” mixes “Trigger Cut” and “December 4th” with a surprising degree of effectiveness. Stephen Malkmus sings “coming back today” while Jay-Z’s mom tells the story of his childhood.

Pavement’s noisy loops and electronic blips and beeps are perfectly suited for remix work. “Zurich Your Shoulders” blends “Zurich is Stained” with “Brush Your Shoulders Off.” The simple arpeggiated melody supplements the vocal lines and gives a completely different treatment of the song.

“99 Problems Here” is exactly that, Pavement’s “Here” and Jay’s “99 Problems.” It’s much more laid-back than the Weezer treatment and much more dead-on and highly stylized. Guitar riffs are cut in half and respliced; drum beats are segmented and reapplied. The effect is great, and a throwback for any Pavement fan.

Jay-Z obviously made the right move with his Black Album. It’s created a kind of standard to which aspiring DJs can compare themselves. In one way or another, every version of a song is the same — each one uses the same Jay-Z vocals — but none are even remotely similar. At the very least, it’s something for laptop musicians to cut their teeth on, and it hints at some very interesting possibilities, especially for the RIAA.

Instructions on how to acquire the Jay-Z Construction Set are available at jayzconstructionset.com. The Black and Blue Album and the Slack Album are available for download at jay-zeezer.com and theslackalbum.com, respectively.