Courtney Love Gave Jay-Z Permission To Use Lyrics From 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' On His New Album

Not much is known about Jay-Z’s forthcoming album Magna Carta Holy Grail beyond what we learned in the Samsung promo that aired during the NBA Finals a few days ago. But here’s a not insignificant nugget: Courtney Love revealed in a Huffington Post interview that she gave Jay-Z permission to use lyrics from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the album.

Love’s album is still searching for a home but that’s intentional by the artist herself. Despite being approached by major labels, she said she’d prefer to work with an indie. “Look at Queens of the Stone Age and Matador…If you were to tell me in the past that Matador would have a Number 1 record, I would’ve laughed.” Ditto for DGC Records, she noted, who put out Vampire Weekend’s latest. Of those indie labels and others, she said, “They’ve had the biggest success in America with alt-rock. The problem with majors is they don’t know what to do with rock. It’s funny hip hop is still really, really dominant. It hasn’t died down.”

As a matter of fact, Love, who owns the Nirvana catalog following her husband Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, just granted Hova permission to use lyrics off of the Seattle band’s iconic, game-changing single “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” That move comes after she covered Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” at a Sundance Film Festival gig in January. “I’m letting Jay-Z use lyrics – Francis would freak Jay-Z’s huge and we’re friends. I mean we’re not besties or anything….”

And then, because this is Courtney Love — who earlier this year covered 99 Problems during a performance — we’re dealing with here, she just had to get in a pissy little dig while also letting everyone know that she got paid at the same time.

“They [used it] without asking, which is kind of nervy but the business side has been taken care of so it’s fine.”

Additionally, Love boasted about being “controversy-free” for the past year in the interview, but admitted that she’s “eccentric and sometimes I go off on tangents” and that this sort of thing has hurt her because “if I’m trying to rent a house, sometimes I’m asked for a year in advance [because of] my reputation.”

Thanks for the tip, John.