American rapper Pitbull has recorded a cover version of Toto’s classic rock ballad Africa, to the bemusement of hundreds of listeners online.
The cover, titled Ocean To Ocean, features on the soundtrack to new DC Comics movie Aquaman and is believed to be a reference to the film’s water-based hero and Pitbull’s regular claim to be “Mr Worldwide”.
Why Africa was chosen as the musical basis remains unclear, although some online comments have suggested the chorus lyric about “rains in Africa” could be a tenuous link back to the film.
Rather than covering the original word for word and note for note, Pitbull finishes the song in less than three minutes, delivering three rapped verses between rushed choruses by singer Rhea.
“I’m the living Great Gatsby” Pitbull says at one point, referencing the story of a conman and criminal who tricks those around him into believing he is wealthy.
While the original reached number one in the US and number three in the UK after its release in 1982, the reception for the new version has been less complimentary.
The most popular comment on the video posted to the record label’s official YouTube account says simply: “I’m so sorry Toto.”
“Well, here it is, the worst thing in music,” said one YouTube user, whose comment is one of the most popular on the video.
“According to my notes, though, Pitbull is breaking his own record,” they added.
“Is there a way this song could finally put Pitbull away for war crimes,” wrote another commenter.
“How dare they take Toto’s Africa and do this to it,” commented another
The track’s reception on Twitter was slightly less frosty.
“I don’t care what anyone says this is the new national anthem period” wrote @Rossalincoln.
“Please save your judgement, I love it,” said @kirbiejohnson.
But the song still had its dissenters.
“Pitbull’s Aquaman rap/Africa cover hybrid is at least three of the horsemen of the apocalypse,” wrote @MaxNisen.
Indie-rock band Weezer covered Africa earlier in 2018, reaching number one in the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in August.