Christopher.Bryan’s Food For Thought: Remix vs. Cover

Posted by Christopher.Bryan |

I’m starting to think you guys are all really confused. You still don’t know the difference between a freestyle and a freeverse (even after J.Scott’s Freestyles), but now it seems you need help telling the difference between a remix and a cover. So here’s the deal…

A singer doing a cover of a song is different from a rapper’s cover. A rapper can’t (or shouldn’t) recite the exact lyrics of a popular song, like a singer can. Singers cover songs to showcase their voices, while rappers cover songs to showcase their own lyrics. A rap cover, previously known as a “mixtape-style track”, has to show more originality. If an artist submitted a song to RapRise of them rapping the exact lyrics from a popular song, I’m not sure we’d post it. Rappers have more creative freedom when covering a song. The only thing that can remain the same, lyrics wise, in a rapper’s cover, is the original song’s chorus. But the chorus must be re-recorded by the artist(s) covering the song. Otherwise, it becomes a remix.

When you hear a song that’s been remixed, you hear a good portion of the original song, whether it be the chorus or a verse from the artist that the song belongs to. If Rick Ross was to spit one verse on Jay-Z’s “Heart of the City”, and on that track he sang the song’s hook, that’s a cover. But if Mr. Rozay left Hov’s first verse and the original chorus on the song, it’s a remix. The same rules should apply to unsigned acts.

Think of it this way: When you cover a song, you’re vocals are like a blanket, covering the song’s instrumental. When you remix a song, you become the featured artist of a song that already exists. I hope this makes sense to you guys, and I hope you all apply it.

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