Tame Impala’s influence on the hip-hop industry


Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons

Tame Impala pictured performing, singing, and playing guitar.

Ava Kopecky, Staff Reporter

Australian psychedelic rock group Tame Impala’s very own Kevin Parker is not only the prime mover of his own band’s unique sound; he is also the brains behind many rap artist’s famous hits.

Formed in 2007, the band has released 4 studio albums and countless hits that have inspired famous hip-hop artists to recreate for their own personal use and for collaboration.

Back in 2012, one of Tame Impala’s earliest supporters was famous rapper Tyler the Creator, who also got “Chanel” singer Frank Ocean hooked on the band as well, even shouting the band out on the two’s co-written song “Bimmer”.

Similar to the two Odd Future stars, Tame Impala has also influenced countless other stars in the rap world as well.

In 2014, fellow artist Kendrick Lamar sampled Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” for the Divergent soundtrack, calling the song “Backwards,” and adding his own rap verses to it. The original song contains psychedelic guitar sounds and drum beats that many other artists could find interesting and unique. Evidently, this would not be the last time that track would be sampled by an artist. Rapper A$AP Rocky also used it in his song “Unicorn” that same year.

After getting recognition from other artists, the collaborations and renditions did not end there. In 2015, Tame Impala released their third studio album, “Currents,” which strayed further from their traditional psych-rock essence present in their first two albums, featuring the hit song “The Less I Know The Better.”

R&B star Rihanna covered the band’s 13th track “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” renaming it “Same Ol’ Mistakes” on her eighth studio album “Anti.” According to a statement released by Kevin Parker and his management team regarding the cover says:

“The Roc Nation team got in touch with us here at Spinning Top letting us know that Rihanna loved the Tame Impala track “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.” They asked if she could cover the song for her new record. Kevin was more than happy to send it her way. We’re all really happy with how the song turned out, love it!”

Rihanna was informed of the band through fellow musicians SZA and Kendrick Lamar during a recording session. Parker was credited as a producer of the cover.

SZA and Parker also have worked on a piece titled “Back Together,” however there still has not been an official release of the song. Later down the road, A$AP Rocky released another track sampling the band’s song “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?” on his track “Sundress.” Parker even invited Rocky to perform both Sundress and another song at Coachella in 2019.

Parker’s music was not only sampled by artists, but musicians also requested artists like Parker to co-write and produce their music. Parker is a co-writer of the song “Violent Crimes” off of Kanye West’s eighth studio album “ye” when West was seeking to find an artist that could use “psychedelic guitars.”

In 2018, Parker co-wrote and produced the song “Skeletons” by Travis Scott on his third studio album, “Astroworld.” Parker posted on Instagram a picture of the album’s artwork captioned, “Very proud to be on this one.”

“Skeletons” also features Pharell Williams and The Weeknd, and Parker can be heard in background vocals throughout the song.

In February 2020, Impala just dropped their fourth studio album “The Slow Rush” featuring hit singles “Borderline” and “Patience,” which can be found on Spotify and Apple Music.