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Jay-Z - 99 Problems (Aloe Blacc Cover)

May 03, 2011

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Why do we like this?

Jo Wiley, formerly overlord of Radio 1's Live Lounge has left, and in her place comes king-of-all-things urban, Trevor Nelson. Suitably, one of the first guests chose to cover Jay-Z. Now, that in itself is pretty exciting, but I'm going to crank that up another level by telling you that the cover is by none other than Aloe Blacc!

This is more than just a cover though, it is actually something of a mashup, with Kanye West and James Brown also featured in this track, which sounds like something completely new. If I wasn't so familiar with the original, I would be hard pressed to tell you it's a cover -- it sounds like it was written especially for this purpose, and is already being talked about as one of the best live covers.

After the recording was finished, Nelson switched into A&R mode, encouraging Aloe Blacc to record a whole album dedicated to soul covers of hip-hop classics - and he sounded pretty interested - so fingers crossed for that one. I think judging by this track, it would become a bona fide classic album.

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