After enimagtic pop mastermind Jai Paul's non-"album" got out last weekend, we were all left with more than a few burning questions, such as:
- Is this really an official release?
- Why would Jai Paul release it by himself, on a Saturday night, on BandCamp?
- What the hell does XL Records—who basically signed him off of one song almost three years ago, and who has since only recieved one more song from him—think of this?
- Is that really Jai Paul covering Jennifer Paige's late-90s chart-topping pop hit "Crush"?
Well, we got our answers: No, it wasn't a real release. It came out on a Saturday on BandCamp because someone stole the material from Jai Paul. XL Records was just as surprised as anyone. And most importantly, yes: that was really Jai Paul covering English-American Jennifer Paige's 1998 chart-topping pop hit "Crush."
For reference, Jai Paul:
And Jennifer Paige:
It's far from the first time the song's been covered (see: Glee, of course), but Jai Paul's version is such a patently weird, lo-fi flip on the track and such an outwardly random and arbitrary choice that we also had to wonder: Is this actually on a Jai Paul album somewhere? And what does the top-ten Billboard 100 chart-topper/1998-world-pop-dominating-force who originally sang the tune think of the cover?
We hit up Jennifer Paige—still very much making music—who noted that while she hadn't met Jai Paul and wasn't overly familiar with his work, "I'm definitely flattered that he likes the song enough to record his own version. With that said, I'm slightly partial to the Original version." Also: "(wink*)."
Parenthetical Wink* indeed! Paige also didn't know of any licensing requests made by XL on Jai Paul's behalf to record the song for an actual album, but then again, as she noted, "since Jai Paul recreated the track/vocals, it doesn't surprise me that my approval wasn't necessary." In other words, because Paige's voice or vocal cues weren't used and she's not one of the published songwriters on the track, her permission wouldn't be needed to record it (unlike, say, a remix of her original vocal tracks). That said, Jennifer Paige (who Jai Paul truthers will note shares the same initials as Jai Paul!!!) was a good sport about the entire thing, concluding that this "must be some creative genius trying to stump the world on this one. I wish Jai Paul tons of success with his new (non-release) release."