Some cover to pay homage, others to challenge, and still others to mock. Re-interpretations of contemporary Top 40 hits often seem to wind up in the latter category. Hip-hop club jams in particular have been butts of some of the greatest jokes of satirical imitation (e.g. Alanis Morissette finally got the concept of irony with her torch song treatment of the Black Eyed Peas‘ “My Humps”). Perhaps sensing that simply ballad-izing hyperbolic urban odes of braggadocio has become a bit cliche, the new tongue-in-cheek cover band Emmett and the Black Mountain Scorpion Bluegrass Experience Gang debut this week with a decidedly uptempo cover of Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’ inescapable 2003 crunk rap single “Get Low.”
The result, as you might imagine, is rather surprising. Gone is the brash, in-your-face aggression of the original, but the lyrics remain unchanged. Those who never paid much attention to the words (good for you) should expect eye-opening clarification. The low-getting here sounds as appropriate for a backwoods hoedown as an inner-city ho-down. It’s a charming juxtaposition, as are the almost Disney-clean vocals, delivering the lyrical misogyny with relaxed tenderness. Somehow the so-wrong-it’s-right retooling works like raisin bran.
Check out more Emmett and the Black Mountain Scorpion Bluegrass Experience Gang at YouTube.