The lines that have historically created a stark divide between the Indie/Alternative Rock genre and Hip Hop/R&B are rapidly blurring— finally, rockers and rappers are coming to find that their sounds get along smashingly. Music that spans the two styles is becoming increasingly popular in the form of cross-genre collaborations, mashups, samples, etc. While covers are obviously not new to the music scene, there is something about the irony of alternative types singing rap songs that people (including myself) can’t seem to get enough of. Hold the beats, bass, and dance-ability– make it slow on the tempo, heavy on the acoustic guitar, and extra heavy on the hipster haircuts.
- The Fresh Prince of Brooklyn
NY-based three piece Pearl and The Beard created this medley of classic Will Smith songs. They make impressively good use of a single drum, xylophone, and cello — give it a listen:
- Killa Thrilla in Manila
OK, we get it, Micheal Jackson is dead and errybody is on his jock all the sudden. This song has been covered by many different artists, especially in the wake of his fake death (I swear he’s pulling a Tupac). While this is not my absolute favorite cover — see Ben Gibbard or Imogen Heap — the xylophone is a nice touch and it is a very well-done video song (amalgam of individual video clips edited and spliced to make a full song). My only qualm is the creepy death stare of the lead singer, who I am pretty sure I saw working at the Motley the other day.
- Whatever You Like (no, not the adorable election version)
Oh snap, T.I.’s in jail? No sweat, Anya Marina’s got it covered. Recently featured on Gossip Girl, Anya Marina has been performing this cover for a while, but had yet to release a music video until now. The video, shot by Nylon magazine, lives up the the raunchy chorus — it’s set in a store for erotic wares, wink wink. Weeds fans may recognize a cameo from Agrestic’s own Andy Botwin.
- It’s pronounced “Chaos”
Indie kids are definitely not the only ones mixing styles, so to balance out the post a bit, here is “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman” by K-os. I know this song is a sample rather than a straight cover, but he is a personal favorite of mine and the song title is great and I do what I want. The song samples the now classic O.C. theme song by Phantom Planet, “California.” Pretty much, K-os looks like a broke ass Will. I. AM and I love it: