“What’s Better Than One Version? Two” 8 of the Best R&B Songs Artists Have Covered

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Music can be appreciated in many ways. It’s a universal theme of blending together different sounds, rhythms, vocal layers, and memorable lyricism, to create records that people will cherish for years.

One of the ways artists have showed appreciation to the music outside of their own, is the popular culture of musical covers.

Covers allow musicians, to play around with classic tracks, whereas they may do something like diversifying the tone, mashing together self-made lyrics to the original ones, or switch up the tempo, by turning a smooth jam, into eight-count choreography.

Here are some of our favorite artists, who have been able to put their own special touch, on some of our favorite records, by giving us covers we title as their own personal version, for a reason.

H.E.R.- “Jungle” (Drake) Cover

 

The mysterious (to some who haven’t figured out her identity by now), and beautifully musical, R&B songstress on the rise, presented this cover of Drake’s “Jungle,” from mixtape If You’re Reading This it’s Too late, through project H.E.R. Volume 1.

She uses the same tone of vocal expression, to convey the heartfelt lyrics through this record, but adds on her own twist from a female’s perspective, by rap-singing over Drake’s isolated voice.

DVSN- “One in a Million (Aaliyah)/Purple Rain (Prince)” Cover

 

Dvsn members, Daniel Daley and Nineteen85, did what they do best, in creating smooth R&B, with this sensual mash-up of icon Aaliyah’s, “One in A Million, and the legendary “Purple Rain,” tune from the the iconic Purple One, Prince.

The electricity came from both the acoustic guitar, and Daley’s ability to mend his follow-up vocals, to the incredibly talented women who started them. The melodies, and harmonies, put into and transition from the 96′ back tracking into the 84′ record, created a soulfully layered, successful cover.

Beyoncé- “Ex Factor” (Lauryn Hill) Cover

 

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was single handedly one of the best solo debuts we’ve ever received in music history, and Hip-Hop culture.

So, when Beyoncé debuted a cover of the second single from the project, on the 2014 “On the Run Tour,” it was a breathe of fresh air to see one queen, pay homage to another.

With just a bit of a quicker delivery in production, and background from the glorious “Mamas,” Bey carried this cover exceptionally, as she dug down in the depths of what real R&B music is.

Childish Gambino- “So Into You” (Tamia) Cover

 

Donald Glover a.k.a Childish Gambino, is a writer, actor, comedian, producer, director, and in this video, and through a ton of his records, quite a great singer as well.

Gambino took us back to falling in love for the first time, and wanting to spend all of that time with your significant other, with R&B singer, Tamia’s 1998 hit, “So Into You.”

I loved the use of instrument power, from the keyboard, to electric guitar, as Gambino, mastered the technique of using the instrument of his voice, accomplishing the swoon affect, and doing justice to this iconic love song.

Jessie J- “I Will Always Love You” (Whitney Houston) Cover

 

Underrated at its finest. And I won’t properly rest, until the day the entire world acknowledges Jessie J’s incomparable talent.

The UK native, took a chance on the legend, one of the greatest vocalists of all time, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” and not only did she serve a Whitney inspired look, but she came and conquered the iconic gem of a song.

We all know how hard it is to cover a Whitney Houston song, so overall we need to give Ms. Jessie J a standing ovation, for maintaining that pressure, and applying it too.

Frank Ocean- “I Miss You” (Beyoncé) Cover

 

Please disregard audience commentary.

But then again, embrace it, because let’s be honest, we would be hyping up Frank the exact same way, with this one.

From Beyoncé’s fourth studio album, 4, “I Miss You,” is a track that Frank himself, teamed up with Bey to co-write, as she gravitated back towards the roots of R&B.

This ballad tugs at the heartstrings, and so does Frank’s performance, where passion and emotion illuminates through every word, and every key played.

Jorja Smith- “Let Me Love You” (Mario) Cover

 

British Beauty, Jorja Smith, fulfilled our nostalgia by covering Mario’s “Let Me Love You,” a record from the golden years of early 2000s R&B.

Classic jazz, and neo soul vibes, radiated through Smith’s BBC Radio 1 Piano Sessions performance. The piano itself, actually adding a special touch and soft flow to the music, that was beautifully recreated.

Matt Bloyd, Mario Jose, and Vincint Cannady- “Have You Ever” (Brandy) Cover

 

“Have You Ever,” from “Vocal Bible,” Brandy’s, Never Say Never album, is personally my favorite song from the singer, because of its timelessness and raw ability to emote.

These three gentleman put their all and then some, into their own version of the no.1 hit. So much, that it registers within you, with each successful effort to harmonize, and to do so from the start, with a beginning acapella approach.

Although the entire cover was a treat, it’s really when that three minute mark hits, up until the final note, that shows these musicians love for music, and how powerful making it your own can be.

 

Diamond Jones

Jr. Editor Lifestlye/Entertainment Department

Diamond Jones, 21, is a St.Louis native, born on the west side of Detroit. She is currently a junior, studying Journalism, with a minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her writing reaches to audiences everywhere, directing it toward the empowerement and excellence of black people and their accomplishments. She has written for The Daily Egyptian, LoveThisTrackTV, Georgia State’s The Signal and the National Association of Black Journalists, which she is a dedicated member of. She hopes to continue to inspire those through her words and make those who feel underrepresented, see their light.