Can you cover hip-hop?

Now a lot of people might look and look confused by this because as rap and hip-hop fans what is valued over most things is originality. If you're in a band of any sort, you will have played your favorite songs from other artists well before you get known for writing your own. That's just how you learn to play, how you practice different techniques and get an appreciation for music in that sense. Because most hip-hop doesn't rely on live instrumentation, although it is starting to become more of a trend, doing a remake, with ones own lyrics is far more commonplace. The few times we have seen hip-hop covered, and especially recently, would be with pop duo Karmin and their rendition of Chris Brown's 'Look At Me Now' which I thought was really cool, and led me to their original music, though I had heard some of their previous covers. It also led to their record deal and Saturday Night Live performance. More recently, I came upon this video of Katy Perry covering 'Niggas in Paris', and no, she doesn't say it.

Now some of the comments on the message board I first saw this clip on were odd to me because they seemed to take it too seriously. Katy Perry was accused of trying to steal their style and doing something so unoriginal, which leads me to believe that a lot of our brothers and sisters don't understand the concept of a cover and how much that signifies respect between artists, especially artists who are both relevant at the same time. It's also a way for an artist to share with their audience, music that has influenced them and made an impression. It's their chance to be a fan once again. I laugh at some of the comments about Miley Cyrus covering Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' while on tour south of the Equator but it's cool because she feels a connection with that song as much as anyone else who has heard it.

As far as rap goes, I would like to see more dudes do this, even if only in live concert. It's nice to see a rapper become that fan you know he was when he was in his early teens, whether he was riding the bus back and forth to school, or holding it down on a block with his boys trying to make some money, to hear a guy go on stage and recite those lyrics that he used to play back and forth in his head are magical. The only time we can see this type of love is during the VH1 Hip-hop honors specials- and the artists usually end up performing their own joints.

This is cool, this is hip-hop and shows comraderie, love and respect. This is what other artists in other genres do for themselves and their craft, they love it. In hip-hop right now, it's not cool to love the art. So what do you think about rappers doing covers of one anothers work?


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