Owusu’s take on the 1977 track marked his first appearance as lead artist on the long-running segment.
The Australian singer-songwriter’s version remains faithful to the original’s punk drive, but features altered lyrics, referencing police brutality, colonisation and racial profiling.
“Still celebrating deaths of my First Nations pals, all because of some old fuckers in a parliament house,” Owusu sings.
Watch the cover in full below:
“I chose to cover this song because I felt like the energy of it and the lyrics that I altered really encapsulated what I was feeling all throughout 2020 and prior and after as well,” Genesis Owusu said in his post-performance interview.
“It’s got a solid energy of rage that’s really valid that I don’t feel like should fizzle out or should just stay as a 2020 Instagram trend.
“Being a black man in Western civilisation, I feel like we’re constantly wronged and then expected to be the bigger man or the educators and stuff like that and the feelings of rage are invalidated. I feel like those feeling are extremely valid and should be allowed to be exercised.”
- READ MORE: Genesis Owusu — “I’d rather be a legend on my own little island than compete for a throne”
As is typical of the segment, Genesis Owusu also performed an original while in the Like A Version studio. He served up a rendition of ‘Don’t Need You’, which was his first single of 2020.