Giving props to the late, great Nirvana front-man, twenty years after his passing.
The grim anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death by shotgun blast is coming up tomorrow. It's hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the fateful day he took his own life at age 27, but he and his band left an enduring legacy.
After all this time, Nirvana's second and third albums, Nevermind and In Utero, stand as unqualified classics, while Cobain himself is still widely considered the "last real rock star." Part of this reputation is surely due to the power of the music he made with the pioneering grunge band Nirvana, while part of his reputation stems from public fascination with his tragic and mysterious demise. (His death was officially ruled a suicide, but some wild conspiracy theories circulate to this day.)
Not only is Cobain idolized by generations of aspiring rock musicians, but his live-fast-die-young biography has become the stuff of legend among many rap stars as well. Kurt may be gone but his memory lives on—through the words of these rappers who continue to draw inspiration from the former Nirvana front-man.
Lil Wayne Had "Teen Spirit"
In an interview with Canadian music savant Nardwuar, Weezy explained how a kid from Chopper City fell in love with the Seattle grunge band. "When I was young there was a show called The Box," he told Nardwuar. "And you used to call the station and order a video. And the 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' video would always be on. You had no choice but to get into it."
2Pac's Cobain Comparison
After being charged with felony rape and sodomy, Tupac told a reporter, "After this, the whole world gonna owe me an apology. Because I went through this and I didn't blow my brains out like Kurt Cobain. And I should. Cause this is a crazy, crazy mess." Pac would keep his head up for another two years before going out in a hail of gunfire at age 25—two years younger than Cobain was.
A$AP Rocky Reflects on Suicidal Thoughts
Jay Z Kings Cobain
Freddie Gibbs Gives Praise
Kid Cudi Pays His Respects
Like so many aspiring rock musicians before him, Kid Cudi was forced to grapple with the legacy of Kurt Cobain while he tried to roll out his own two-man rock band WZRD. During the Summer of 2011, Cudi and some friends visited Seattle's Viretta Park, by the house where Kurt Cobain lived and died. Tons of Nirvana fans will be gathering at the park tomorrow to mark the 20th anniverary, but Cudi passed through the parks wooden benches on a quiet day, and pulled out a Sharpie to leave his own personal tribute to Cobain. More recently he paid tribute via Twitter, recognizing Kurt's infamous Rolling Stone cover protest: "Corporate magazines still suck."
Tyler, The Creator's Tribute
Like Cobain and many other iconoclastic rockers and rappers, Odd Future's Tyler, The Creator has a somewhat prickly relationship with the mainstream music press. When asked how he plans to remember Cobain's legacy, Tyler spelled out his plans in a media-bashing Tweet.