Erykah Badu’s “Hotline Bling” And Other Hip Hop/ R&B Covers That Had Us Geeked

October 2, 2015  |  
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It seems like everything Erykah Badu does is magic. So perhaps it should have come as no surprise that when she covered Drake’s new single “Hotline Bling,” that Internet blew up with surprise and appreciation. Her version is fire. And it got us thinking about other covers that surprised and delighted us.

Drake’s “Hotline Bling” by Erykah Badu

Take a listen. We really dig that Erykah changed the lyrics. But what makes it work so well is that nasally unique voice of hers. It fits perfectly, making the song sound particularly cosmic and hypnotic. Plus, a peeped a soundbite from baby daddy Andre Benjamin. Just in case you thought it was too deep, simply listen to the voicemail message at the end. She’s a clown.

Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson has soul. So I’m always down to hear her sing anything. And since “Bitch Better Have My Money,” goes so hard, it was nice to hear it stripped down with more emphasis on harmony. And while it might sound unlikely, she killed that thang. By the end of the song, you’ll be convinced Kelly don’t play about her money either.

Mario Winans’ “I Don’t Wanna Know” by Florence and The Machine

Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine has a stellar voice. It’s haunting and emotive. I don’t just listen to her songs, I feel them. And the same is true when she sings other people’s tunes. She took on Marion Winans’ “I Don’t Wanna Know” and had the song sounding so much more depressing than the more uptempo, Diddy produced hit. Check it out. You might be surprised but you won’t be disappointed.

Khia’s “My Neck, My Back” by Miley Cyrus

Y’all know Miley doesn’t have any sense. But I can’t lie, she entertained me with her cover of Khia’s hood classic, “My Neck, My Back.” Being that she is undeniably country, the twang came all out in her delivery of the song. Even though she was holding it down, there was a point where she had to laugh at herself. Hope none of Miley’s young “Hannah Montana” fans were in attendance.

The “DuckTales Theme” by Scott Bradlee and PowGrl

I know all of my ’90’s cartoon kids will appreciate this one. If you always made sure to catch your Saturday Morning Cartoons, with a bowl of cereal in hand, then you remember Disney’s “DuckTales.” But I’m telling you, you’ve never heard the theme song covered quite like this or as soulfully by Scott Bradlee and vocalist PowGrl. Treat yourself.

Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” by Ed Sheeran and The Roots

Everyone loves Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.” There’s even something like a Kidz Bop version of the song. Yes, someone let their children sing about cooking up drugs in the kitchen and getting high with their “down-for-whatever” boo thang. But Ed Sheeran’s version is far more age appropriate and more musically and vocally sound as he was backed by The Roots. I love the way he pronounces the word “ass.” LOL!

Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” by Us The Duo

Though I tried to fight it, I have to admit that Taylor Swift has hits. And I absolutely love her song “Shake It Off.” It’s a nice feel good, jump around song. But if you think about it, there is a very deep and real message behind the tune. And you can really hear it in this slowed down cover by Us The Duo. I heard the cover last night in passing, on “Grey’s Anatomy.” And it struck me. Today, I found the video for the cover, which features young people shaking off the mean and hurtful things people have said to or about them.

Jeremih’s  “Don’t Tell ‘Em” by Lorde

None of us can really put our finger on Lorde. But there is obviously an undeniable talent there. She seems to have a great appreciation for music of all types which was clearly displayed when she performed her version of Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell ‘Em.” She did her thang! The dance moves are an added bonus.

Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” by Jhene Aiko

Jhene Aiko has such a soft tone that the notion of her covering a Tupac song seems a little farfetched. But she took one of his more conscious records and made it her own. Her version reminds us just how powerful Tupac’s words still are today.

Tamia’s  “I’m So Into You” by Childish Gambino

I knew Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino rapped in addition to acting. But apparently, he’s a consummate entertainer. Homeboy has some vocal skills as well. He sang Tamia’s “So Into You.” And you already know that Tamia’s vocal range is no joke. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Glover held his own. He Did Dat! And the musicians accompanying him were pretty awesome as well.

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