Hey Karmin, stop covering rap songs

April 13, 2011|By Wesley Case

Here's an example of what the world needs less of: twee, novelty covers of rap songs by cutesy indie duos. Not only does Karmin's "cover" suck the vibrant life out of Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now," but it does so with a knowing, smary attitude. (Amy Heidmann's strange vocal inflections and bug-eyed emphasis scream, "This is funny! I shouldn't be singing this but look ... I am!") This cover offers nothing new other than a Starbucks-ready version of a song that should never be played at Starbucks. The group also changes the lyrics to a PG-rating (their term, not mine), and it transforms a song built on brute force (all three original artists — Brown, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne — attack Diplo's beat with a fiery menace) into a Kidz Bop sing-a-long.

I shouldn't even be dedicating a post to this, but this is so cringe-inducing, so unnecessary, so coying, that I had to. Hopefully Karmin is reading this and realizes it's better to stick to a lane other than rap. In the YouTube page's comments, Karmin writes, "We've been listening to lots of hip hop lately, so I guess this is what the side effects are!" There's nothing wrong with being a fan; there is something wrong with manipulating that appreciation into something this bland/cheesy/insulting/noxious, with obvious intentions of being noticed for something "different" and "precious." Karmin isn't the first group to do this; I'm just hoping they're the last.

Thanks (I guess?) to Anupa for spotting the YouTube link.

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