The worlds of rock and rap have collided in recent years in the form of sub-genres such as rap metal and rapcore. And though rap artists have sampled rock songs for several decades, rock acts rarely cover rap songs. In recent weeks, SiriusXM’s Octane has been playing a cover version of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Like A Storm (a trio of brothers hailing from New Zealand).
The Kiwi hard rock act has been a dominant force in recent months on SiriusXM’s Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown with their hit song, “Love The Way You Hate Me.” The song, from their album Chaos Theory: Part 1, was also included on Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 52 Hard Rock Songs of 2013.
Although hard rock cover versions of rap songs are few and far between, it should come as no surprise that Like A Storm is the band to try something different. After all, they are likely the only band to ever have a hit hard rock song that features a didgeridoo.
The band has taken a few poetic liberties with the song title (“Gangster’s Paradise”) and some of the lyrics, but other than that, it doesn’t deviate very far from the structure of Coolio’s original for the most part. It should be noted that Coolio’s version from 1995 is actually an adaptation of Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” from 1976.
Like the Stevie Wonder and Coolio interpretations, Like A Storm’s version features a dramatic undertone throughout, however they took it up a notch with an epic crescendo of guttural, tortured growls at the pivotal moment of the song…
“They say I gotta learn, but nobody’s here to teach me…if they can’t understand me, how can they reach me?…I guess they can’t, I guess they won’t…I guess I’m f#@ked, that’s how I know my life is out of luck!”
Whether it is the use of an unusual instrument or the innovative interpretation of a classic rap song, one thing is certain, Like A Storm is a band that is willing to take chances and march to the beat of their own drum.
“Gangster’s Paradise” gets better with each listen. If and when “Love The Way You Hate Me” falls off of the Big ‘Uns Countdown, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see this song take its place. Check out the lyric video below…