Grammy-winning rapper Doja Cat has risen to fame in recent years as one of the hottest new names in music, in demand for major projects in the entertainment world. “Vegas”, his last single with Elvis actor Shonka Dukureh, interpolates Big Mama Thornton’s song “Hound Dog” which Elvis Presley later made famous himself. For Doja, being part of the soundtrack of such a great movie was a big request.
Elvis Presley is played by Austin Butler in the new biopic
Doja Cat may not be on screen in Elvis, but she is heard on the soundtrack with her reimagining of “Hound Dog”, “Vegas”. Presley has been criticized in life and in death for being credited as a pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll, when in reality black artists such as Little Richard were the originators of the genre.
The Elvis the biopic doesn’t shy away from the forgotten history of rock ‘n’ roll, as well as Presley’s role in it. “Vegas,” for example, features Dukureh singing the chorus of “Hound Dog” as her character Big Mama Thornton.
Having to bring the king of rock ‘n’ roll to life on screen is a daunting task, and actor Austin Butler didn’t take it lightly.
“When you look at Elvis as this iconic superhuman figure, it’s hard not to feel small. And so for me, my task was to find as much humanity, similarity and reality as possible,” he said. told CBS Sunday Morning.
Doja Cat was flustered when she got the “Vegas” opportunity
The simple fact of being involved in a project as big as the Elvis biopic was an honor for Doja Cat. In an interview with Access Hollywood, she was candid about her reaction to learning she would be doing a song for the soundtrack.
“I was like, ‘Oh shit. Oh no. Oh my God, help!’ she said honestly. She admitted the pressure to do well weighed heavily on her.
Big Mama Thornton is played by Shonka Dukureh in “Elvis”
Shonka Dukureh, who brought Big Mama Thornton to the big screen in her role, also felt the film’s gravity. She spoke with Shadow and Act about the opportunity ahead of the film’s release.
“It’s amazing because I know I realize that there were a lot of people who could have played the role or they had a lot of choices that they could have had to play the role.” she declared. “And so I knew how privileged I was to have this opportunity. And I just wanted him to pay homage to Big Mama Thornton and do her justice in the film.
“I was very conscious and I really wanted to be intentional to make sure that I respected, respected her, respected her legacy, respected her spirit, respected everything she brought to the music and understood that I could do it because ‘she did it and laid that foundation,’ she continued.
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