We all love a good cover song—when it’s done right. Come correct or don’t come at all, as they say. So when an artist steps out of their comfort zone by embracing a different genre entirely and then absolutely smashes it, they deserve our utmost respect.
Here are eight of the best rock versions of hip-hop tunes.
1. Limp Bizkit – “Jump Around” (House of Pain)
During the first edition of Korn’s Family Values Tour in 1998, the Bizkit put their very own spin on what’s arguably the biggest feel-good rap anthem of all time: “Jump Around.” Perhaps DJ Lethal, formerly of House Of Pain and Limp Bizkit, had something to do with that.
2. Rage Against The Machine – “How I Could Just Kill A Man” (Cypress Hill)
It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Rage Against The Machine had already been friends with Cypress Hill for over a decade when they paid a huge compliment to their brothers by including the adrenaline-charged “How I Could Just Kill A Man” on their 2000 covers record, Renegades.
3. Framing Hanley – “Lollipop” (Lil Wayne)
The term “ballsy” is an understatement when describing Framing Hanley’s decision to include a bonus version of Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” on their debut album, The Moment. But it also was an incredibly clever move by the emo pop-punkers, as this track successfully propelled them into the Billboard singles chart for the first time ever.
4. Cancer Bats – “Sabotage” (Beastie Boys)
It doesn’t get much more ambitious than this. “Sabotage” is a stone-cold hip-hop classic, and the Beastie Boys are practically untouchable. But the Cancer Bats dared to remake it, and the risk paid off. The band even humbly paid homage to the prolific trio with a music video that is an obvious tongue-in-cheek tribute to the original.