Over the last year we’ve continued to keep you updated on the craziness and creativity that is Our Hit Parade. The live top-ten countdown show is a cabaret created by Tony nominee and Obie winner Kenny Mellman (Kiki & Herb), Bridget Everett, Neal Medlyn, producer and MTV cameraman Brendan Kennedy, and writers Ada Calhoun and Peter Schjeldahl. It is inspired by the musical sketch series Your Hit Parade that ran on radio and then television from 1935 to 1959. On that show, cast members performed the week’s most popular songs as comically literal skits. Today the show is performed as cabaret with a rotating cast of guest musicians in New York City.
Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak was universally derided upon its 2008 release. Following three critically-acclaimed rap albums, a heart-on-sleeve pop album by a guy who clearly could barely carry a tune proved dead on arrival. The fact that he masked his vocal deficiencies with Auto-Tune at the very height of the anti-Auto-Tune fervor made 808s a particularly easy target.
Three years later, though, people look back on the album more fondly. 808s clearly played a role in shaping West’s undisputed masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, so even the holdouts reluctantly credit the album as a stepping stone to greatness. More generous types recognize, however belatedly, that West perversely used Auto-Tune to make his music more human, not less.
One fact has remained consistent, though, and that is that this album lends itself to covers better than any other Kanye album. The reason is clear – covering a pop song is much easier than covering a hip-hop song. The preponderance of “Love Lockdown”s alone could keep a cover blog going for weeks. Below, then, we present covers of every song off 808s and Heartbreak. No other Kanye West album would be remotely feasible – where the “New Workout Plan” covers at? – but this one proved a cinch. Auto-Tune not included.
If you haven’t heard, perhaps because you have better things to do with your time, Lil Wayne just got out of prison. After eight months in, Wayne’s star has never been higher. Even the New York Times has been live-blogging his release! He spent his final month in solitary confinement, which apparently translated into “Even more time to write lyrics.” Given that his output was so minimal during his stint – he only released one chart-topping album! – we look forward to having him back.
To welcome him home, we present five of our favorite Lil Wayne covers. We have to get this old stuff out of the way now, since by day’s end he’ll likely have dropped two more mixtapes. Apparently he demanded a plane with a studio so he could lay down some tracks on his flight home. Welcome back, Weezy!