Top 10 Rap Covers By Non-Rap Artists
Artists have many ways of expressing admiration for their peers. Name-dropping those who inspire them in liner notes and offering them groupies on the tour bus are just a couple of ways of showing respect. Covering one of their popular songs? Now that's the ultimate tip of the hat. That's an artist's way of saying, "I wish I wrote this song."
When it comes to hip-hop covers, though, it's not always as straightforward as laying vocals to a beat. Here are 10 non-hip-hop artists who got it down to a science.
While Duran Duran's cover of Public Enemy's "911 is a Joke" isn't the tour de force that the original was, it's a lucky convergence of elements that seem to work well. A solid rendition of a classic anthem. Truth be told, though, very few songs have ever matched the intensity of "911 is a Joke."
This one looked bad on paper, but they managed to pull it off and had a blast while doing it. (That's what she said.) Forget everything you know about OutKast's version, "Roses" is now a frenetic hillbilly number. The chipmunk-voiced rapping at the end adds a comical touch.
As if the Bomb Squad didn't abuse the decibels enough on "Bring the Noise," Anthrax turns up the noise a few billion notches. It bumps. It grinds. It screams.
This isn't as much a cover as it is Jamie Cullum simply being Jamie Cullum. What we mean by that is there's not much structural difference between the cover and Pharrell's original. Cullum didn't reinvent the song, he simply made it his own. If you're unfortunate enough to hear this version first, you'll probably end up hating the original. Equally fascinating is this version by Chad Hugo, Maroon 5, and Mos Def.
When artists cover other artists they're showing respect. Tori Amos' cover of Eminem's "'97 Bonnie & Clyde, however, was more like a backhanded compliment to the rapper. By turning up the song's psychotic levels a notch and infusing it with dramatic effects, she effectively took a stance against its violent nature.