Is a cover song still a cover song when it completely reverses the message of the original? Before you answer, listen to T-Pain ridiculous but irresistible reworking of Lorde’s “Royals.”
Lorde’s version, which bowled over Grammy voters last month, is a bouncy critique of the kind of excesses you might see in a T-Pain video: “But every song’s like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom, blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room/We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams,” sings Lorde, before also mocking Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands, and tigers on a gold leash.
"Seems like yesterday we was drinking Crown Royal,” he auto-croons. “We ain’t really give a fuck, now they try to hate on us, and I just party on my bus, let me see you get loose, girl. … Work hard, play hard, money over everything.”