See Kurt Vile ‘Do White Rap’ in Cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Down in It’
Philly psych-folk master records the 1989 hit for "A.V. Undercover"
Sometime the cover stars align. Philly rock bard Kurt Vile was SPIN’s June cover subject backed by the hazy power of his Essential Wakin on a Pretty Daze. Nine Inch Nails are our September headliners, with the brand new Hesitation Marks streaming freely as of today. Now the former has covered the latter for The A.V. Club’s long-running “A.V. Undercover” video series, and the results are an unusual confluence of drawling psych-folk and industrial angst.
For his song, Vile chose NIN’s 1989 hit “Down in It” because, well, “It’s the weirdest thing we could do,” he says in the clip. “It wouldn’t be a song I would really cover, but I got into it anyway, did the whole white rap thing, just tried it out.” Indeed, the Pennsylvania longhair spits Trent Reznor’s lines like a speed-addled beatnik (which is to say, still sort of slowly), as he spills out gushy bursts of flanged guitar and blesses the hook with his trademark slur.
Watch that above, then top it off with “Trent Reznor’s Upward Spiral.”