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The Rubens Attempt ‘King Kunta’ and ‘Hello’ For Like A Version


2015’s Hottest 100 winners The Rubens have continued their (accidental) war against Kendrick Lamar with a mediocre suburban, not-too-rowdy pub-rock arrangement of the rapper’s hit single King Kunta.

Not entirely satisfied with underperforming one song from last year, King Kunta was mashed up Adele’s Hello.

Researchers have found the scientific reasoning why Adele’s songs are so impactful. Psychologist John Sloboda identified the musical device known as an ‘appoggiatura’ as a key factor in triggering emotional responses through music, and Adele’s songs are usually littered with them.

Coupled with huge, sweeping emotional swells and resolution-making crescendos, it’s easy to hear what makes a song by Adele objectively impactful.

The Rubens’ cover happens to do away with most of those elements, resulting in choruses being delivered effortlessly flat. The choruses are underwhelming and are accompanied by an instrumentation of King Kunta that, apart from some nice lead guitar embellishments, loses its original G-funk style.

When listening to this edition of ‘Like A Version’, I was reminded of Courtney Barnett’s self-admittedly “misjudged” cover of Kanye West’s Black Skinhead. A song originally created by an artist for an express purpose and then having their creative intent stripped and performed as something like a novelty.