I need suggestions for a music feature I'm working on. What I'm looking for is feedback on covers/interpretations of hip-hop & rap songs by non-hip-hop musicians, good and bad. What are some covers of rap songs by non-rappers you like, and why do you like them? What are some covers of rap songs by non-rappers you hate, and why do you hate them?
Firehose's cover of "She Watch Channel Zero?!?" by Public Enemy -- Watt's arrangement and musicianship is fantastic; vocal interpretation is skillfully done; the band clearly loves the original work.
System of a Down's cover of "Shame on a Nigga" by the Wu-Tang Clan -- participation of the RZA takes a bit of the edge off of a bunch of white guys using the N-word; song rocks like a box of cocks.
The Gourds' covers of "Gin & Juice" by Snoop Doggy Dogg & "No Diggetty" by Blackstreet -- while there's a mild taint of co-option, the arrangements are clever, the approach is funny, and the band seems to have a genuine affection for the original material.
Anthrax's cover of "Bring the Noise" by Public Enemy -- despite participation of PE, song seems out of place in their canon; not nearly as rockin' as it should be (attributable to the fact that Slayer rocks much harder than Anthrax); seems gimmicky.
Alanis Morrissette's cover of "My Humps" by the Black-Eyed Peas -- cover of song I hate by band I hate by different performer I hate who sings it in a style I hate just means five times the hate.
Duran Duran's cover of "911 is a Joke" by Public Enemy -- sucks.
Nina Gordon's cover of "Straight Outta Compton" -- absolutely reeks of cultural co-option and not a slight whiff of racism; features rich, priveleged white woman from tony Chicago neighborhood singing a song written by impoverished inner-city hoodlums; sung in that wispy white-girl "I'm going to cry" voice that I don't even like when it's a non-rap song; does not feature awesome G-funk production by Dr. Dre.
Okay, NOW YOU!