As the charismatic, flawed and emotionally vulnerable frontman of 1990s grunge outfit Nirvana, Kurt Cobain established himself as the model for a new kind of bandleader. Unlike the frontman of days gone by, Cobain was educated on subjects like feminism and was a vocal critic of racism, sexism and homophobia, both in the music industry and society as a whole. At the same time, he was incredibly chaotic, wild and unruly, losing himself in the raw energy of his music to magnificent effect.
As such, Cobain earned a devoted fanbase and became something of a legend in his own lunchtime. Indeed, even to this day, he continues to inspire fan worship from unlikely places. Even rapper Post Malone once declared his love for Cobain. As well as having a song titled ‘Kurt Cobain’, Malone has also covered Nirvana’s music on numerous occasions, first in 2016, when the rapper gave a rendition of Nevermind cut ‘Lithium’.
Later, during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, Malone performed a number of Nirvana tracks as part of a live stream held to raise funds for Covid-19 relief. He later revealed that he’s approached Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, for her permission to reinterpret the tracks. During a conversation with Howard Stern, Malone was asked if the rumours he’d asked Courtney Love for her blessing were true.
Correcting Stern, Malone said: “We went to Kurt’s daughter. It’s important to me because I loved Kurt so much, and he’s been such an inspiration to me, musically. I could never want to offend anybody by trying to show support, so I just wanted to make sure that everything was OK. And it was ok, and we raised money for a good cause, and we got to play some of the most fucking epic songs ever.”
Dressed in a Cobanesque thrift store dress, Malone – joined by Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker – covered tracks like ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ and ‘Lithium’, putting his own spin on the track while keeping their essence intact. The response to the concert was overwhelming, with Malone and co raising a whopping $2.6 million in just a few hours. The rapper even earned the praise of former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. “They were killing it,” Grohl said following the live stream. “So I watched a bunch of it. I was, like, ‘that was really cool.’ I don’t get to see other people do Nirvana songs often, and he seemed perfectly comfortable with it, and it sounded great. “Even the die-hard Nirvana people that I know were, like, ‘dude, he’s kind of killing it right now.’”