A friend of mine recently made me a rather lovely mix CD which ranges from quotes from the amazing Anchor Man to the excellent spoken word track Beyond The Son by Koop. But the thing that really grabbed me by the ears (so to speak) as I listened to it on the way to work this afternoon (I had a rather big pitch this morning which I can’t tell you about or I’d have to kill you) was something that at first I assumed was simply a remix of Public Enemy’s iconic Welcome To The Terrordome.
However, as the track progressed and I realised that it wasn’t just the music that was different to the original but some of the lyrics too, I realised that it was actually a cover version. And a quick text to my mate later I found out that the man responsible was Pharoahe Monche. The most famous track by Monch is probably the, slightly shocking, Simon Says (see below to see why), but his cover of Welcome To The Terrordome is a very different beast entirely.
Where Simon Says is all relentless beats and incredibly blunt lyrics, seemingly concerned with nothing more than bragging (though this doesn’t change the fact that it’s an amazing track), Terrordome is based round an awesome soul sample ( Come On And Get It by H.D. Rogers according to Wikipedia, and if anyone knows where I can get that I’d be most grateful) and lyrics even more political than those of the original. For whilst Pharoahe Monche’s version of Welcome To The Terrordome is undoubtedly a cover version of the Public Enemy classic, it also aims to build on it.
I have to say that normally I’d shudder at the idea of anyone even trying to cover Welcome To The Terrordome, or just about any track from the amazing Fear Of A Black Planet (that means you, Duran Duran), but Monche somehow pulls it off. I’m not sure whether it’s as good as the original (I’m not sure there are many songs full stop which are as good as Public Enemy’s original version of Welcome To The Terrordome. But it’s certainly an hnest attempt to build on the rap classic and one that deserves your immediate attention. As does the original, in case you haven’t already realised that.
Terror image by Mosieur J on flickr