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The New Viral #MaskOffChallenge Turns Future’s Rap Into Masterful Classical Music

2 minute read

When rapper Future dropped his tune “Mask Off” in February, the haunting track produced by Metro Boomin became an instant hit. Part of its immediate catchiness comes thanks to the use of a live, spare flute sample, over which Future easily rhymes. As it turns out, that melody is actually from the little-known 1978 musical Selma, as Vice and others have pointed out. And talented musicians around the internet decided to bring it back big time, turning the acoustic tune into a viral trend called the #MaskOffChallenge, which has gained momentum since getting its start in early March.

In the challenge, musicians cover the rap track with live classical renditions of their own, masterfully playing everything from flutes to violins, saxophones, cellos, and trombones. Like the Mannequin Challenge before it, there’s plenty of flexibility for artists to transform the song into a whole new experience for viewers (and listeners). Here are some of the best versions so far:

It’s also gotten a pitch-perfect a cappella treatment.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com