New Music Monday: 04/12/2023

By: Patricia Stadnik

I would argue that Megan Thee Stallion’s recent ‘Rock Remix’ of her song ‘Cobra’ – in collaboration with the metalcore powerhouse band Spiritbox – is the most unexpected release of the year. Best known for songs like W.A.P. and her skillful freestyles, Texas-native Megan can aptly be described as a modern rap-genre icon. She recently settled a lawsuit against her ex-record label, “1501 Certified Entertainment”. Her latest releases have been “funded straight out of [her] pockets,” as she goes independent for the first time since it was just her and her mom. Across the musical spectrum, partnering act Spiritbox – made up of vocalist Courtney LaPlante, drummer Zev Rosenberg, guitarist Mike Stringer, and bassist Josh Gilbert – is a Canadian heavy metal band that burst onto the scene in 2017. Courtney is an unrivalled talent who sets the band apart with her ability to fluctuate rapidly between singing techniques. Spiritbox is a long-time favourite band of mine. 

I don’t think that the rock version of ‘Cobra’ is like anything I’ve heard before. The intense drumbeat and intermittent guitar pair exceptionally well with Megan’s biting delivery. Courtney’s vocals add a layered, unique contrast to the track, especially as she and Megan come together and build off one another’s energy. Their back and forth on the final pre-chorus makes a powerful punch for the close of the song. As always, Courtney’s seamless transitions from ethereal crooning to guttural screaming showcase her incredible technique. The only criticism I can think of for ‘Cobra’ is that it’s too short. At a run time of just three minutes and six seconds, it always feels like it’s over too quickly – but all the best songs always do.   

The rock remix of ‘Cobra’ has been described as a “modern version of Linkin Park and Jay-Z’s Numb/Encore,” and having gone and listened to that collaboration, this is an apt comparison. Its successor is musical history in the making. Blending genres in this way guarantees a final product that is enticing in its boldness and has the chance to bring together fans from disparate musical backgrounds. Hopefully, its success leads to similar releases in the future. An entire album in this fashion would be a daring endeavour, but one that, if done well, could give rise to a new genre marked by a mix of rap and metal styles.  

When I saw these two names together in a Spotify notification about new releases, I was close to certain that the app had been hacked, or glitched to a major extent. This remix of ‘Cobra’ came as a surprise. It has, however, been a mainstay in my recent playlists. If you haven’t checked out this masterful genre-bending collaboration, it’s worth at least a listen!