It’s hard to know what to expect from covers of rap tunes. You’ve got your lyric-for-lyric covers, often ironically repurposed for some new genre; there’s the occasional trimmed-down electro cover, instrumental except for the chorus; every so often, there’s a rapper rearranging and reproducing and really covering the original. Then, occasionally, we see something like Bad Bad Not Good’s Goblin medley – something new and transformative and requiring no familiarity with the source material to appreciate it.
The trio – Matt Tavares, Alex Sowinski, and Chester Hansen – clearly have a thorough appreciation for Tyler, the Creator and Odd Future. The Goblin medley, after all, is the second part of the Odd Future sessions that they began releasing in April. Their meandering jazz would be almost unrecognizable if Tyler weren’t rapping over such interesting arrangements to begin with – “Untitled 63” and “Nightmare,” the first two songs in the medley, are already jazzy, and the third, blog hit “Yonkers,” translates just as smoothly.
The greatness of all this, though, isn’t in the simple genre switch; anyone with their little bit of talent can put together a cross-genre cover. No, the greatness and creativity in this isn’t that they make a jazz cover, but that they make it jazz. They don’t simply put the existing music through a filter of different instrumentation; they let that instrumentation take them where it will. Gone are the lyrics, gone is the bass-voiced titular character, and we’re left with a totally different piece of music and a totally different attitude, and yet, somehow we’ve still got the traces of Tyler’s creation – something playfully disturbing and darkly vibrant and new. Watch and download it below.
Bad Bad Not Good – Untitled 63/Nightmare/Yonkers (Tyler, the Creator covers)