Punk goes crunk

Many music lovers enjoy multiple genres. Sure, most people have their favorite, but there often is some crossover in taste. Covers sometimes bridge genres, and the following CD is a great example of this.

The CD was released in 2008 and features 15 songs from bands ranging from quite famous to relatively obscure in the punk rock to metalcore genre (for those who don't feel like clicking on the link metalcore is described as a fusion genre combining various elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk). They all cover hip-hop, R&B, or similarly categorized music.

Is the CD worth buying?
In all honesty, probably not.

According to Laurie Mercer at allmusic.com:
This record is really unlikable, both in general and specific terms. Singing lyrics meant to be rapped enfeebles the poetry and neutralizes its rhythmic underpinnings, while bastardizing production styles to mimic samples is simply sonic chicanery that doesn't fool the ear.

An amazon.com reviewer believes the CD would be more aptly titled Punk Goes Stupid. Clever, right?

Is it all bad?
Definitely not. There are some well done covers on the CD. The following is a pretty solid rendition of Akon's "I wanna love you":

Punk Goes Crunk also brings up an interesting point about covers worth addressing. Part of the beauty of being able to perform the work of another artist is that covers have no limits. Songs from previous generations or from different genres are all fair game. Songs can be covered in different languages, and altered so greatly that individuals may not even recognize it as a cover if listening to it and the original one after the other.

Mat Weddle's rendition of Outkast's "Hey ya" accentuates the lyrical content in a way that the original version cannot accomplish because of the fast pace.

Bruce Hornsby's "The way it is" took on a completely different tone when redone by Tupac in "Changes". Tupac focused in on race relations from a very personal perspective, while Hornsby seemed to touch on the subject from an outsider's point of view.

Covering a song of another genre allows for different interpretation of the piece and often a focus on a part that the original might not emphasize. In addition, covering such songs allows listeners to appreciate and access types of music they might not otherwise explore.


  1. I think it's extremely interesting not only for artists but for audiences when a cover is done by a completely different music artist. For example when Obadiah Parker does the "Hey Ya" cover, the audience is thrown off initially from the feel and the meaning of the song. But it almost gives more value to the song, because people are able to appreciate how differently it can be performed and still have the same characteristics that originally made it a popular song.

  2. I really enjoyed Obadiah Parker's version of "Hey Ya." Because it was slower than the original and acoustic, the tone was more melancholy. I thought that he sounded regretful or sad especially in the beginning when he sang "the thought alone is killing me right now" and when he slowed down and sang softer during the chorus. The lack of background singers and responses such as "ice cold" and when the ladies yell "yea" in the original, keeps the attention on the lyrics and emotion of the song.
    Hannah Carl

  3. I remember, a couple of years ago, seeing the Punk Goes Crunk album come out and I definitely laughed while hearing a few of the song renditions. It was definitely something unique and it was somewhat strange hearing a song fitted to a different genre. Although the songs have the same lyrics, the mood of the song completely changes. Conversely, the Tupac song has the same melody,but different lyrics, and a similar effect is achieved.

    -Kevin Ceballos

  4. A trend that I have noticed is the alteration of the influence of the lyrics versus the influence of the instrumental accompaniment, whether done though volume or tempo. Simply changing the ratio of vocals to instrumentals changes a song dramatically, and can highlight or underplay a piece's tone or message. In The Maine's reworking of "I Wanna Love You," the vocals dote on the lyrics as the instruments take a background stance. Unfortunately, the depth of the lyrics does not seem to fit the emotion and edge of The Maine's vocals, suggesting that Akon's original version was one meant to convey a certain feeling through the beat and less through inspirational or moving lyrics.

  5. The changes implemented by 2Pac to Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is" were quite drastic, and it could be a whole new song, except for the chorus line and the background piano music, though even then he only keeps one portion. However, the background music is quite recognizable, and "Changes" undeniably takes its roots from "The Way It Is."

    I would agree that Hornsby sang from an outsider's perspective, but also an acceptance of the lack of change. 2Pac's version is a bit more active in trying to get things to change, and though it does take a tone of jaded acceptance regarding inequality, he places the blame on law enforcement and government decisions. Hornsby touches on laws, but mostly his song just feels more like a passive lament.