Thanks to viral video culture anyone with a working webcam thinks they can make like they're Snoop Dogg in a coffeehouse. Most are not very good, but sometimes — like when Melanie Fiona sang Drake's much-covered "Started From The Bottom" in a harmonious show of hometown love — it all comes together.
Yes, Fiona is a Grammy-winner, but the Internet doesn't really care if these covers are performed by professionals or amateurs, especially if an unexpected genre change reveals an added depth to the songwriting. The results just have to be cool enough or funny enough to pass on.
So click the gallery below to watch 10 non-hip-hop covers of hip-hop songs that went viral, from a geeky-looking teen turning "Sexy And I Know It" into a brilliant blues jam to an all-white girl a capella group crooning "Bitches Ain't Shit":
Melanie Fiona "Started From The Bottom"
Toronto-born Melanie Fiona doesn't <em>need</em> to cover a Drake song to make herself famous. After all, her two Grammy trophies are double what Drizzy has on his mantle, but there she is anyway, banging out "Started From The Bottom" in hot purple headphones. Her version, essentially a cappella except for a handclap 'n' loop of her own voice, reveals both depth and joy (and Toronto love) in a song that otherwise might not have gotten viewed through that lens.
Noah Guthrie "Sexy And I Know It"
This bluesy cover of LMFAO's hit took off and got over eight million views in a week. Guthrie has appeared on the "Today Show" and the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
Karmin "Look At Me Now"
Karmin took off after they released their cover of Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now" when singer Amy Heidemann revealed her insane rapping skills.
Dan Henig "Get Low"
Never has the phrase "'til sweat drops down my balls" sounded so dang beautiful. Pay special attention to the guy in white cracking up as soon as he hears the first line and the kid with the book trying to pretend he doesn't know what's happening. One YouTube commenter says he's going to make this his wedding song. You and me both, sir. Dan Henig also does a surprisingly soothing cover of Ludacris's <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwSGbGyinWs" target="_blank">"Move, Bitch."</a>
CirculationDesk "Bitches Ain't Shit"
The whitest girls in the world doing the whitest activity in the world to a Dr. Dre song. It's a thing of beauty.
Obadiah Parker "Hey Ya"
You'd be forgiven for thinking "Hey Ya" was originally a mid-tempo acoustic song. This version just works.
Lissie "Pursuit Of Happiness"
Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness" makes a surprisingly effective rock song. Also, check out the dude playing drums and bass at the same time. Bonus: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNTq2RY07N8" target="_blank">Here</a> are sisters Meg and Dia and their guitarist Carlo Gimenez doing an acoustic cover of Cudi's song, notable mostly for the weirdness of hearing the sweet and demure Dia Frampton swear and talk about smoking weed.
Lindsey Stirling, Jake Bruene, Frank Sacramone "Party Rock Anthem"
The violinist is having so much fun. Plus, how can you hate on anything with a keytar? You can't. It's impossible.
Hugo "99 Problems"
"99 Problems" shouldn't work as a bluegrass song, but somehow it does.
Emily Wells "Juicy"
Okay, this one isn't exactly viral, but it should be. It's a really eerie rendition of a Biggie song.