Rita Wilson is ecstatic to be on the other side of her coronavirus health scare. The actress/singer who recently sang the National Anthem before NASCAR’s iRacing Pro Invitational Series race in her first official performance since she and husband Tom Hanks returned to the U.S. after falling ill with COVID-19 in Australia, has another positive vibe to share.
On Monday (April 6), Wilson revealed that she’s teamed up with hip-hop stalwarts Naughty By Nature on a remix of their 1993 smash “Hip Hop Hooray,” with net profits from the track going to the MusiCares Foundation Inc. COVID-19 Relief Fund to help those in the music community impacted by the novel coronavirus.
“’Hip Hop Hooray’ is like modern day Shakespeare. I originally learned the song for one of the most fun roles I ever played in the film Boy Genius,” explained Wilson of her in-the-pocket, cheerful flow on the song. “It took me a month to learn because it’s so complex and nuanced; it was like training for a marathon. The rhythms and tempos are so unique and creative. When I was quarantined and recovering from COVID-19 I wanted to see if I still remembered it, kind of like a brain exercise. To my surprise I did.”
Wilson posted her cover of the song on Instagram on March 22, delighting fans with her flawless delivery of the bars from MCs Treach and Vin Rock as a way to show everyone she was doing okay and maybe make them smile a bit in the midst of the global health crisis that has sickened nearly 1.3 million and killed more than 70,000 across the globe to date.
“When Naughty By Nature commented about it, I couldn’t believe it,” she said of the group wishing the couple a speedy recovery and shouting out her undeniable “skills” on the mic. “What a joy to be doing this remix with legends of the Hip-Hop world. I’m forever grateful for their generosity of spirit and for being able to raise money together for MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief Fund.”
Naughty By Nature, which also includes DJ Kay Gee, added, “We are honored to have Rita Wilson recite our song. We were totally shocked she could rap the verses so well. We were aware she contracted COVID-19, and was quarantined along with her husband Tom. The next thing we know, everyone began to inbox us her Instagram. We are honored to be part of the remix of our classic song to raise awareness and help fight the coronavirus.”
Naughty by Nature’s original version reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993 and made No. 1 on what is now called Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It was nominated for a Grammy for best rap performance by a duo or group.
The song will release on all digital/streaming platforms on Friday (April 10), with the track available to listen to below.