Barefoot – White Lines (Cover Version of Grandmaster Flash’s Song)

The hip-hop classic White Lines by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five gets the lounge-bar jazz treatment in this cover version by Barefoot. And it works..

White Lines, the hip-hop classic with a social message about the dangers of cocaine, has suffered enough for any track with the injury that Duran Duran did it with their cover. So the thought of the Grandmaster Flash track being given a jazz style makes one shudder. But this actually version by Barefoot works very well.

The way I found this track was the 1st case of this blog proving self fulfilling: someone read it, and emailed me suggesting that I might like the Barefoot album. Basically it’s producer Tommy D & singer Sam Obernik, who reached the charts as vocalist on the Tim Deluxe house track It Won’t Do. When asked to do an accoustic version for Jo Whiley’s Live Lounge on Radio 1 it got her thinking about doing a whole album of dance/hip-hop covers accoustically.

She has an amazing voice and the instrumentation is in no way “ironic”: they take a great hip-hop song and make it into a great jazz song. Much like Jamie Cullum’s version of Frontin’, which also began life on the Live Lounge (as did Will Young’s Hey Ya!). White Lines is my favourite track off of the album, along with an amazing gospel type take on Pride (A Deeper Love). Well worth digging out and listening to in full. With or without your shoes on.

And just to add, if anyone else has any cover versions, remixes or sampled songs that they think I should cover, please feel free to contact me.

The original version of White Lines


  1. this is bugging me…some band that had a cartoony video to accompany the song….sampled “White Lines” bass line, Liquid Liquid…and the lead singer had a high, indie voice. In addition, the bongos were kept in the song, and they stand out quite a bit. The song was briefly featured on MTV in a segment that was to introduce new bands (you had to call in to vote on whether the video should get further rotation). This band lost, sadly. Does anyone remember this?

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