What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye Cover) – [OLU]

Whether you’re a musician, an athlete, a celebrity for some other reason, or just a regular everyday person, there is some sort of music that has helped shape you into the person you are today. Your early taste in music most likely might’ve been built from your parents’ preferences because that’s all you had access to at a young age, but as we grow older, we truly appreciate these offerings more than ever before. Most musicians show their appreciation for these early influences by either mentioning those artists in interviews, referencing them in songs, or even sampling their music and giving it their own spin in order to bring it new life. As for EARTHGANG member OLU, he decided to take this dedication one step further and dropped off an actual full-on cover of Marvin Gaye’s classic record “What’s Going On”.

Considering EARTHGANG is one of my favorite groups coming up in the music world, I wasn’t sure what to expect here. Normally, the duo is on songs with one another and they elevate each other’s aptitudes, so this was a new experience for me to hear OLU individually. Additionally, covers can be a challenging thing because you want to do the original justice and not offend or upset anyone, but OLU is extremely intelligent and abundantly talented, so he knew this going into his rendition. OLU’s version begins a bit more subdued and less intricately as the main piano portion of the instrumental is heard, but there’s a heavier bassline and no snares or kicks right off the bat like there is in the original. It’s also clear that the updated instrumental just seems to be purer and cleaner, leaving out some of the static or impurities that might’ve been present in the classic version. Beyond this, although OLU has sung during moments of certain offerings he has released, I’ve always been mainly drawn to his insane abilities when it comes to Rapping because he has some of the most effortlessly intricate rhyme schemes in the game that just seems to come naturally to him.

Due to the fact that Marvin Gaye is a legendary vocalist, I wasn’t sure how an artist who is classified as a rapper would hold up to the situation, but he absolutely blew me away with his abilities. I’m not surprised because he’s one of the most talented artists in the game, but he was hitting notes all along the sonic spectrum and holding them with such emotion and expression that I was truly mesmerized. He would go from toned-down, subdued lines to absolutely belting out flawless notes at the exact pitch Marvin would be hitting, and I was just beyond impressed throughout his entire rendition. There’s also a brief video that accompanies this offering, and it basically takes us to a bedroom where OLU is laying down on a bed. There’s a guitar on the bed beside him as he holds a microphone up to his mouth while singing the lines, making it even more impressive that he’s able to provide so much intricacy while laying down. The entire video is shot in one continuous take and as it comes to an end, the camera slowly backs out of the room, leaving OLU on his own.

Once again, I can’t believe how dexterous OLU truly is and the range of artistry he has displayed time and time again. His voice has always been somewhat melodious, and I know he has sung before, but I never expected it to be as good as it was on this cover. I know he wanted to show Marvin as much respect as possible and he wanted to honor his legacy, so he did this in the absolutely perfect way. Additionally, it appears that OLU wanted to dedicate this cover to his late father, which makes the rendition even more special than ever before. I truly hope that he decides to let his vocals run even more wild and free on future EARTHGANG releases because I definitely think that would bring additional impressive qualities to the forefront of their already incredible music, but I guess only time will tell. For now, you definitely don’t want to miss out on OLU’s cover of Marvin Gaye’s classic hit “What’s Going On”, so be sure to check it out as soon as you possibly can.