the xx's cover of drake and rihanna's 'too good' is too good
The British trio make a dancey Popcaan-sampling banger into a soulful ballad, like only they could.
photography laura coulson
The sadboy lyrics of Drake and Rihanna's 2016 hit "Too Good," are out of synch with its uptempo, polyrhythmic percussion. That's partly what makes it so good. The track is Drake in high Drake mode. "I'm too good to you [...] You take my love for granted," he sings from somewhere under the toe of Rihanna's stiletto-heeled Louboutin boot, which is ultimately where he is happiest — hence the bouncing, dancey rhythms.
Last night, though, on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge, The xx stripped the track down to its mournful core, replacing syncopated drums with piano, and swapping Drake and Rihanna's charged back and forth with Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim's languorous London vocals. "We love this song, we love it," Sim told Live Lounge presenter Clara Amfo. "We've taken it to a different place. It's maybe not as danceable, but we hope you'll enjoy it."
This is not the first time The xx has crossed paths with Rihanna, or Drake. Rihanna sampled the group's "Intro" (from their debut record xx) on "Drunk on Love," off her 2011 album Talk That Talk. And Drake's "Take Care" (which also features Rihanna) includes a nod to Jamie xx's remix of Gil Scott-Heron's "I'll Take Care of You." If Rihanna can team up with Kanye West and Paul McCartney for a song, is it too much to ask that she, Drake and The xx finally all get in a room and write something together?
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Laura Coulson