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T-Pain Covers Lorde’s ‘Royals,’ and It’s Ridiculous (Video)

Remember that stuff about not being materialistic? Nevermind

Is a cover song still a cover song when it completely reverses the message of the original? Before you answer, listen to T-Pain’s ridiculous but irresistible reworking of Lorde’s “Royals.”

Lorde’s version, which bowled over Grammy voters last month, is a bouncy critique of the kind of excesses you might see in a T-Pain video: “But every song’s like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom, blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room/We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams,” sings Lorde, before also mocking Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands, and tigers on a gold leash.

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Lorde (pictured above left) didn’t call out T-Pain or anyone else by name, but she was talking about rappers. Adult contemporary singers almost never have tigers in their videos anymore.

T-Pain (above right) either completely missed Lorde’s message, or more likely, heard it and didn’t care. His version of “Royals” ups the excess.

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“Seems like yesterday we was drinking Crown Royal,” he auto-croons. “We ain’t really give a fuck, now they try to hate on us, and I just party on my bus, let me see you get loose, girl. …  Work hard, play hard, money over everything.”

While Lorde has “never seen a diamond in the flesh,” T-Pain imagines what it would be like “if I didn’t have diamonds on my chain.” He doesn’t mention his timepiece, but it’s probably just an oversight.

Lorde, four minutes for rebuttal.

Hear T-Pain’s joyous, “money over everything” version:

And here’s Lorde’s bitter, sanctimonious original (Kidding! They’re both just great):