“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” It’s an adage that, while cliché, seems to always be relevant when speaking on the times we live in (and seemingly no matter the era). It’s also why a song that Marvin Gaye released nearly fifty years ago will forever be relevant. Of course, we’re talking about his classic “What’s Going On,” which once again gets the remake treatment in response to the circumstances of our day and age. This time around, it’s EARTHGANG‘s Olu who is tapping into the song’s staying power to speak to America’s conscience.
Olu, who most notably showed off his singing chops alongside TianaMajor9 on their collaboration “Collide,” offers a faithful cover of the song. The iconic bass line is there, as is the haunting rhythm guitar, keys and strings that support the song’s melody. Olu taps into the song’s message as he delivers the lyrics with an obvious passion and feeling for humanity’s current state. Is it a perfect cover? No. Marvin is difficult terrain and sometimes the vocal Olu gives doesn’t live up to the standard. However, Olu gives it his all as he sings the song from his bedroom/studio while reminding us that the battles we fight remain the same and are far from over.
“This cover is my gift to my father and anyone separated from loved ones, or feeling low or apathetic about the current state of our world,” Olu wrote about his cover in an op-ed for DJ Booth. “Y’all keep your heads high and your spirits higher. We will get through this and love more and more on the other side.”
As we all ponder what’s really going on in this crazy world, let Olu and his take on Marvin Gaye help make the path to the other side of this whole thing just a little bit easier.