the stages of loving indie rap covers

You are young. You love Kanye but you’re not sure if you love rap ~yet~. Rap is still firmly rooted in things you don’t know (big booty bitches, drugs, THE STREETS). Kanye is different. He talks about being self conscious. You are also self conscious. It is 2004.

You go to college. You’re a freshman so you attend a concert on the lawn called Jam Fest. You listen to too much Jack Johnson sung by hot boys in hammocks playing the ukulele. You find this song and become obsessed. You realize that you can sing “hey ya” through the verses and still have it line up with the beat. You think this is a mashup like all the cool kids are doing but it’s just a way to annoy the hell out of your brother on a road trip. A taste for this genre is born.

You find this cover of Single Ladies. You make all your friends watch it. You listen to it incessantly. You believe it is better than the Beyoncè version. (You are young and don’t realize yet that Beyoncè will save your life over and over again.) You don’t even catch the dig they get in (skip to 2:00). You feel there is nothing wrong with this adorable girl and her partner. You consider getting a Harry Styles (pre-Harry Styles) pixie cut. You let your mom cut your hair in a bob instead.

You listen to hours of sappy versions of the best songs. There are so many on 8tracks. This one is on repeat for years. Indie covers are your preferred medium for hearing the incredible lyric acrobatics of good rap and catchy pop.

Fast forward to 2014. Everyone is freaking out about this T-Pain tiny desk concert. You hear yourself repeat things like “Yeah, if T-Pain did that all the time he’d actually be good!” You remember 808s and Heartbreak for a second but not long enough to consider how asinine this is. You still prefer the “acoustic” versions of these songs.

Finally you have arrived at 2016. You are on vine (rip). The indie girl voice becomes a meme and you begin to realize how ridiculous it sounds (mostly thanks to this vine).

You are also twitter. You begin to hear jokes about how ridiculous these covers are. The theory is cinched by this @NathanZed tweet.

Now every “acoustic” cover sounds stupid. You find the music you actually like instead of wishing T-Pain didn’t use autotune. You listen to a lot of Noname. You find a spotify song radio that gives you your indie fix (song below). You actually like rap music. You stop wishing more indie artists would cover rap songs. You don’t want them ruined anymore. You do (however) wake up sometimes with Harry Style’s cover of Ultralight Beam stuck in your head because this is everything. This is everything.



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