R&B sweetheart Khalid recently made a pit stop at the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge—for the second time—and performed Tracy Chapman’s classic and poignant 1988 hit “Fast Car.” It’s a major feat for a relatively new artist to perform such a significant melody, which carries socio-political weight. Other notable musicians like Sam Smith have covered the massive track.
“Fast Car” details the trappings that come with being drowned in a vicious cycle of poverty, and never seemingly being able to climb up the social ladder. In a 1988 Rolling Stone profile, Chapman revealed how her very modest beginnings in Cleveland, Ohio influenced the way she expressed herself artistically. Her experiences served as a musical blueprint.
“I always had a sense of social conditions and political situations. I think it had to do with the fact that my mother was always discussing things with my sister and me — also because I read a lot,” she said. “A lot of people in similar situations just have a sense that they’re poor or disenfranchised, but they don’t really think about what’s created the situation or what factors don’t allow them to control their lives.”
Nonetheless, it’s safe to say the 20-year-old was able to beautifully deliver. All the more reason why his ascension in music keeps rising—not to mention he garnered a total of five Grammy nominations this year.