Nandi Bushell picked the perfect time to pay tribute to a rap god. In fact, on the eve of Eminem getting formally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the 12-year-old British drummer phenom tipped her hat the only way she knows how: by ripping through a killer cover of Slim Shady’s 2013 anthem “Rap God” just hours before Marshall Mathers joined the ranks of rock royalty.
“Guess who’s back? My first new cover in almost 6 months! #rapgod by @eminem!,” Bushell tweeted, noting that her stick-spinning, booming version was inspired by HAL, the drummer for Japanese rockers CVLTE. But there was even better news. After years of expertly covering other people’s songs — and picking up new pals like Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl in the process — Nandi said she’s got big things in store.
“I am still working on my original songs. Coming soon!,” she added. “I can’t wait for you to hear them. Working on my speed and consistency.”
In the video, a smiling Bushell bounces her sticks off the floor, hits a pummeling double-kick drum and blasts out double-time beats to go along with the track of Em’s verbal blitzkrieg.
Longtime friend and collaborator Dr. Dre inducted Eminem on Saturday night, recalling how just about nearly everyone tried to discourage him from working with the then-unknown rapper, saying no one believed or saw the vision. “I knew that his gifts were undeniable,” Dre said during his speech. “Each of us was what the other one needed — and I was willing to bet my entire career on it.”
Em took his place this weekend alongside a 2022 Hall of Fame class that also included Dolly Parton, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon.
In September, Spin spoke to Bushell about her upcoming debut EP, Into the Abyss, which will feature her first collection of original songs after years of posting viral cover videos and jamming with the Foos on “Learning to Fly” at the London Taylor Hawkins tribute concert earlier in the month. She’s already released the first single from the five-song effort, “The Shadows,” as well as “Forsaken,” which was inspired by a song she was invited to sing on by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello to help Afghan girls and young women at a school learn to play guitar under the repressive Taliban government.
Bushell said her originals are inspired by everyone from Billie Eilish to Slipknot and Twenty One Pilots. “I also wrote everything and I played everything,” she said.
Check out Bushell’s cover below.
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