Good cover versions are hard to find. Usually the music buying public are subjected to cover versions by contestants on X Factor and other such horrific programmes and those people generally tend to shit all over perfectly good songs. However over the weekend I was watching Fright Night (I know, I know, not my usual fare but it’s really not that scary) and I heard this phenomenal cover version of Jay-Z’s 99 Problems. It’s by Hugo, a half-Thai Royal Family, half-British singer songwriter who is now based in Hell’s Kitchen, New York.
Hugo is signed to Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation, which may explain his unusual choice of song to cover. The result is brilliant – a stomping bluegrass/rock version with new verses but maintaining the classic chorus – and his vocals on this track sound remarkably like John Lennon in his later years. 99 Problems is taken from Hugo’s first album Old Tyme Religion released in 2011. Check it out.