Somebody Better Have Somebody’s Money
Everyone’s favorite nu metal punching bag Korn made some news recently by remixing the Rihanna song “Bitch Better Have My Money”. The results are better than you’d expect. Rest assured it’s not a dumbstep song.
Korn hasn’t done anything notable in over a decade now. The idea of them remixing a pop song was intriguing to me so I clicked and expected to have two and half minutes of my time to be flushed into the void. For the remix of the song, they took Rihanna’s vocal track and supplied their own music for it. The result is that it’s surprisingly catchy. Oddly, it works. They didn’t do anything special, but what they did do is follow along with the vocal lines with a bouncy stop and go riff over the verses and what sounds like your prototypical Korn riff for the chorus. The riff over the chorus works well, and the drums switch the beat up to half-time to further enhance it. Having heard the remix before the original has me favoring it because I was expecting to hear a beat that goes bump in da club, yet the music for the original is kind of laid back. Below is the remix, you can listen to the original here if you want to compare and contrast. Miss Piggy has apparently gotten in on the action as well.
Also check out this version featuring the “Bitch Better Have My Money” video. It’s NSFW but definitely worth a watch because staring at Rihanna’s Sesame Street eyebrows in the vid above is bound to wear on you. Slip your IT guy a twenty and tell that person you have important things that you need to see on the internet and that you’d really appreciate it if they could look the other way on this one. I’m no video breakdown expert but I would like to give you a brief rundown of this if you haven’t seen it:
2:30 – Rihannabuttz
Korn have done other cover songs but the results are mixed. On a 2013 tour stop in Brazil they decided to endear themselves to the locals by doing a cover of Sepultura’s “Roots Bloody Roots”. It’s a little funny because Roots is basically Sepultura playing an album inspired by Korn’s self-titled debut. They even got Ross Robinson to produce it to make sure they were mimicking Korn correctly. The video below documents the band learning the song and the live performance that followed. Korn does a good job of covering the song musically as their signature rhythm section lets you know who’s performing. I have no idea why Jonathan Davis is doing half-assed death metal vocals over this, and his absence in the Rihanna cover speaks volumes as to why it’s more enjoyable. In the build up to the live performance, Andreas Kisser is teaching James “Munky” Shaffer how to play the main riffs of the song. Roots is obviously a tech death masterpiece that requires superior musical skill to perform it. Check out the tabs from Ultimate Guitar for the opening riff of “Roots Bloody Roots” below to see the degree of difficulty required to play this song. A Guitar Hero novice would likely have little trouble figuring this one out, but someone who pioneered the style Sepultura is playing needs a guitar lesson. Notice the intense focus of Munky trying to learn that riff.
Beware, Korn is sporting copious amounts of eyeliner in this vid.
Cover songs are a dime a dozen, but Korn’s take on a Rihanna song presents a whole new dimension to the trade. There are plenty of Youtube users who have reimagined their versions of popular songs, but Korn might be among the first artists with name recognition to do something of this nature to a pop song. If this blows up and goes viral, will some nitpicking bean counter from Jay Z’s business side attempt to try and extract a price for this? Do they have any legal grounds to do so? Right now the whole thing appears to be flying under the radar, and maybe at the end of the day Rihanna and Korn will perform the song together in a live setting for some Hollywood types. You’re left to wonder if other popular artists will get the rock/metal treatment bestowed upon their songs. Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Charlie XCX and the like are all fair game. Do you have any requests for Korn or any other artist that may be up to the task? Shout them out in the comments section.