Clara Amfo defends Biffy Clyro’s divisive cover of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’

"Sometimes things are just fun and not thaaaaaaat deep"

BBC Radio One host Clara Amfo has taken to Twitter to respond to the mixed response to Biffy Clyro‘s Live Lounge cover of ‘WAP’ by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.

The band delivered the cover as part of BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge Month yesterday (September 3) in support of their new album ‘A Celebration Of Endings’. In addition to an acoustic version of their single ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’, the Scottish trio also performed their version of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s controversial smash hit single ‘WAP’ – but changing the title to ‘WAB’, standing for ‘Wet As Biffy'”.

As well as altering some of the more NSFW lyrics, the band also made other lines more self-referential – including: “I said, certified freak/ Seven days a week/ If you’re not wet as Biffy/ Then your riffin’ game weak

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After performing their cover, frontman Neil said: “It was such a lot of fun, we had such a good time doing it. We do have respect. We’re not having a laugh. We love the song, it’s just our take on it.”

The band also stated that they felt that the “backlash” to the original version of the sexualised anthem was “ridiculous”, adding: “Who’s anyone to tell anyone else how to enjoy themselves? As long as you’re not hurting anyone, who cares?”

Following on from previous Live Lounge appearances, including covering ‘Tilted’ by Christine & The Queens back in 2016, Biffy’s choice of song and math-y reimagining was a surprise for fans. However, it proved very divisive among listeners. While some welcomed their mad-cap approach to the track, others accused them of being problematic in “hijacking” the original meaning and intention of the song.

Defending the band, one fan wrote: “Biffy have always gone for different covers, [and] only cover songs they genuinely like. They’re a band that like to have fun. And, like it or not, this is fun (and then they complained against the backlash of the original).”

Meanwhile, another listener hit out at those who were “missing the point that a song by two Black women that talks about sex on THEIR terms and not a man’s (this is uncommon in songs that top charts and are as ubiquitous as ‘WAP’) has been hijacked by some white men who have completely missed the point.”

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There were those fans to took to Twitter in praise of the cover:

And others who were less than impressed:

Responding to the backlash on Twitter, BBC Radio One Live Lounge host Clara Amfo defended the Scottish trio’s cover as “just fun.”

“Sometimes things are just fun and not thaaaaaaat deep,” wrote Amfo. “Not everyday discourse and snark huns and I very much include my own attitude too. *sips flat water*.”

She later added that she was “logging out the cursed app” before using the hashtag #WAP in a follow-up reply.

‘WAP’ has been the source of much discussion since its release. Russell Brand attracted criticism when he was accused of “mansplaining feminism” after using an online exploration of the song and video’s message and themes of ownership of sexuality, while a number of conservative news outlets have also taken aim at the track –  including The Daily Wire‘s Ben Shapiro, who was subsequently mocked by Cardi after he read out the lyrics to the song and expressed his disapproval over its message on his show.

“I knew it was gonna have a big impact, I guess, because of me and Megan,” Cardi later responded. “But I didn’t know it was going to be so controversial. I never expected that, you know, conservatives and Republicans were going to be talking about the song.

“I didn’t think the song was as vulgar as they said it was, you know? Like, I’m so used to it. I’m such a freak that I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I didn’t think people would think it was so out of this world…”

The phenomenal success of ‘WAP‘ has inspired many covers and remixes – including a rendition my Margo Price, a mash-up with ‘You Belong With Me’ by Taylor Swift, and a bizarre version by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion in the ‘WAP’ video. Credit: YouTube

Speaking to NME for a Big Read cover story earlier this year, Biffy frontman Neil spoke of his admiration of the “attitude” of hip-hop today over the predictability of many older rock bands.

“I don’t want to age gracefully as a fucking rock band,” he said. “I don’t want to start wearing really well-fitted leather jackets, black trainers and shades in a cool fucking pose. Where do they buy those fucking clothes?”

He added: “I don’t want to settle into that ‘sophisticated rock’ vibe. That’s killed rock music to a certain extent. I need the chaos, the anarchy, the big ‘fuck you’. Hip-hop is dripping in attitude, and rock can’t afford to lose that.”

Meanwhile, Neil recently told NME about Biffy’s progress on recording a “sister album” to ‘A Celebration Of Endings’ – among his plans to finish four new albums this year.

The band will be heading out on an intimate UK tour in April 2021, before headlining a huge homecoming Glasgow show in June with support sets from Yungblud, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Porridge Radio.

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