Warning: spoilers for Succession ahead.
Who saw the crossover of grunge and the latest hit HBO show coming? The latest episode of Succession, the show loosely based on Ruper Murdoch’s media dynasty, contained a scene soundtracked by a classic but controversial Nirvana song. The scene in question sees where Kendall Roy interrupted his sister’s town hall speech by blaring ‘Rape Me’ over the loudspeakers.
That caught the attention of the watching Courtney Love, who then posted her appreciation on her Instagram Story. “I was in the room watching (agog) as this song was written in about an hour, and I’ve never been so proud of approving one of Kurt’s songs, this cue in @succession is as if they truly understood kc 🔥 what he was screaming his heart out … without specifics … about. I’m sure wherever he is he’s proud of this.”
While the estate of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain is usually rather picky about where the band’s music gets played, it’s all the more surprising that Succession chose such a controversial song from their collection, arguably the most notorious Nirvana song of all.
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Included on their final studio album, 1993’s In Utero, the incendiary lyrics caused Wal-Mart and Kmart, two huge U.S. retailers, to refuse to sell the album unless the song’s title was changed on its cover. Nirvana relented slightly, changing it to ‘Waif Me’ on the exterior but retaining the original title inside.
This was despite ‘Rape Me’ actually being an anti-rape anthem, written by Cobain from the point of view of the victim. “It’s like she’s saying, ‘Rape me, go ahead, rape me, beat me,'” Cobain told SPIN in 1993, “‘You’ll never kill me. I’ll survive this and I’m gonna fucking rape you one of these days and you won’t even know it.'”
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