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Courtney Love Grants Jay-Z Permission To Use Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Lyrics

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(Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

(Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

Scott T. Sterling
Scott T. Sterling Scott is the rock associate producer for Radio.com....
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In a wide-ranging new interview, former Hole frontwoman Courtney Love talks about her forthcoming solo album, nearly being the subject of a reality show (“I’m not going to lower myself, [but] I did think about it”) and that she’s given rapper Jay-Z the go-ahead to use lyrics from Nirvana’s 1991 smash hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

“They [used it] without asking, which is kind of nervy but the business side has been taken care of so it’s fine,” she revealed to the Huffington Post, although she did not explain any details of how or where the Nirvana lyrics are being used.

Conventional wisdom would point towards the Nirvana interpolation being part of Jay-Z’s forthcoming new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, which was announced with a splashy three-minute Samsung commercial during Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, featuring collaborators Rick Rubin, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

“I’m letting Jay-Z use lyrics – Frances would freak [if she knew this],” Love added, in reference to Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter with the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. “Jay-Z’s huge and we’re friends. I mean we’re not besties or anything….”

Love, who says her second solo album should be available by Christmas of this year, covered Jay-Z’s 2004 hit single “99 Problems” during a live show at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and is open to releasing it through an independent label.

“Look at Queens of the Stone Age and Matador,” she said of the hard rockers scoring the first chart-topper both for the label and the band. “If you were to tell me in the past that Matador would have a Number 1 record, I would’ve laughed.”

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