Carolina Chocolate Drops - Hit ‘Em Up Style (Blu Cantrell)
I had the privilege of seeing this amazing old-time string band perform back in 2010 and have been obsessed with them ever since. They completely captured me with their outstanding commitment to musicianship, their preservation of bluegrass music as a key part of the culture in my hometown (Appalachia) and not to mention just really good music. Rhiannon Giddens, who you hear on this track, has some truly stunning vocal talent in addition to being phenomenal on both the fiddle and banjo.
Aside from being completely obsessed with the group, I specifically chose this track because I’m always excited when a great cover comes along and surprises me. The blending of modern R&B lyrics with old-time string instrumentation, super cool beat-boxing and Giddens’ powerhouse vocals tells an interesting story about the way music has evolved over time. While some things change, there is still just something magical about stripped-down, flat-out, great music.