Actress and singer-songwriter Rita Wilson and New Jersey hip-hop legends Naughty by Nature have teamed up for this year’s most unlikely charity single: “Hip Hop Hooray (Remix),” a new version of the group’s 1992 hit with Wilson handling some of the vocals. You can listen to it below.
Net profits will go to the MusiCares Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, which helps members of the music industry affected by the pandemic. Wilson and her husband, Tom Hanks, recently suffered from the disease, but have recovered.
On April 10, the remix will be available digitally here.
Wilson originally learned the song for the 2019 film “Boy Genius,” in which her character performs it at a party. In a press release, she called it “modern day Shakespeare.”
“It took me a month to learn because it’s so complex and nuanced; it was like training for a marathon,” she said in the press release. “The rhythms and tempos are so unique and creative. When I was quarantined and recovering from COVID-19 I wanted to see if I still remembered it, kind of like a brain exercise. To my surprise I did.”
She made a video of herself rapping it and put it on Instagram, “to show people I was doing okay and to make them smile,” she said. Members of Naughty by Nature saw it, and that led to this project.
“We were totally shocked she could rap the verses so well,” said the group, which hails from East Orange, in the press release. “We were aware she contracted COVID-19, and was quarantined along with her husband Tom. The next thing we know, everyone began to inbox us her Instagram. We are honored to be part of the remix of our classic song to raise awareness and help fight the coronavirus. Thanks again to Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks for embracing us, and for helping us take the unexpected viral moment further for such a great cause.”
Here is the song:
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