Date: July 22
The cover song as pop single is a long, storied, and important tradition. From Johnny Cash's late-life take on Nine Inch Nails's "Hurt" to Lauryn Hill nodding to Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You," the art of the great cover is a tricky one to perfect. But when done right, the result can last through the ages, and in some instances, become more memorable than the original.
As such, Selena Gomez's cover of imprisoned contemporary dancehall legend Buju Banton's "Champion" is, in fact, more memorable than either the original "Champion" or the original's remix-single. How so? Because it's so goddamn terrible it makes me consider wanting to quit my job, climb to the top of the Jamaican Blue Mountains, renounce American pop music, confess every time I've ever attempted to speak patois or sang "Natty Dread" in the shower, douse myself in Blackwell rum, and light myself on fire. I won't. I'm going to stick it out. Because Buju's going to make some decent money off the royalties, and also if I quit my job I won't be here to preach the gospel and tell you how motherfucking horrible this new, garbage-ass piece of 2013 is. Also, I love singing "Natty Dread" in the shower.
But really, the difference between Selena Gomez and you, dear reader, or myself, or at least the important difference herein, is that we, you and I, would never want to insult the memory or the culture of the people who made reggae music by attempting to profit off of such a superficial and exploitative take on it. (Not to mention abhorrently unlistenable—which both my own and Selena Gomez's cover songs most definitely are.) Regardless, your takeaway here should be: (1) Go buy Buju's Til Shiloh, the incredible 1995 album that originally featured "Champion." (2) Promise yourself that if and when you have children you will never let them watch the Disney Channel or grow up to be Disney Channel stars because you don't want them to further the ruination and progressive homogonization of the various cultures of our world, as Selena Gomez is obviously trying to do. And finally, (3) FREE BUJU! —Foster Kamer
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