There’s a whole subgenre* of music wherein sensitive, acoustic guitar-strumming artists try to flip the script by taking the edge off hardcore hip-hop songs (think Dynamite Hack‘s “Boyz In The Hood”, Ben Folds‘ “Bitches Ain’t S***”) by adding an element of ironic humor to their interpretations. Well, no one has ever accused Courtney Love of being anything remotely approaching sensitive, which is why we have zero issues with the acoustic cover of Jay-Z‘s “99 Problems” that she performed at a Sundance Film Festival afterparty over the weekend.
Hova’s original, Rick Rubin-produced version of “99 Problems” is alternately defiant and hilarious, but Courtney Love ups the emotional stakes significantly by stripping any trace of humor from the song. She infuses lines like “But ain’t nothing sweet ’bout how I hold my gun” with a layer of emotional instability that turns the song from a riotous party anthem into something significantly more haunting and, along the way, reminds us how much the music world misses the enigmatic star.
*A genre which, frankly, we grew tired of as soon as it sprouted up.
Courtney Love, “99 Problems” [The Awl]
[Photo: Getty Images]