A few weeks ago T-Pain released a startlingly awful cover of Lorde’s “Royals,” and I love it so much. There are so many problems with this song, and every time i re-listen i discover another flaw. This song really makes you wonder “How Did This Get Made.”
For starters, T-Pain changes the entire theme of the song without a hint of irony or awareness. Royals is widely regarded as milestone in pop-music, sung by a young, angsty, reluctant pop icon from the fringes of mainstream (a sixteen year old girl from New Zealand without stunning looks and black fingernails). The song presents a sharp critique of the material excesses of celebrity culture, while at the same time being a paean to her middle-class upbringing. In his version, T-Pain creates a vanilla, cookie cutter hip hop song, replete with references to his Chevy, booming bass, and dancing strippers. But this alone would not make the song worth mentioning. T-Pain not only makes no attempt to address the discrepancy between his version and the original, but he seems oblivious to the irony that arises as a result of this discrepancy. Look at the lyrics. T-Pain changes the lyrics: “and we’ll never be royals” to “we was drinking crown royal.” He changes “and we’re not caught up in your love affair” to “look at them Caddillacs on 20’s.”
All of this is amplified by the fact that T-Pain sings the entire song in the same autotune he used in 2007. Which is important to remember: not only has T-Pain not been relevant for about 3 years, but this song is evidence of the fact that he can only make music for 13 year olds.
What a gem.