“Rape Me” is a song by the American grunge band Nirvana, written by frontman Kurt Cobain. The song was released as the second single from Nirvana’s third album In Utero in 1993, packaged as a double A-side along with “All Apologies”. The single reached number thirty-two on the UK Singles Chart.
“Rape Me” was written by Kurt Cobain on an acoustic guitar around the time the band’s second album, Nevermind, was being mixed in 1991. Nirvana first performed the song live that year, although Cobain had not yet written lyrics for the bridge section.
Nirvana had wanted to play “Rape Me” during their performance at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. While MTV initially told the band they could play any song it wanted, it later insisted that the group play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” instead. Hours before the show, Nirvana refused to play. However, due to concerns that the network could boycott other artists on the group’s label if the group refused to play the show, Nirvana ultimately settled on performing their then-latest single “Lithium”. At the start of the performance, Cobain started playing and singing “Rape Me” instead; he said he did so “just to give [MTV] a little heart palpitation”. Panicked, MTV was moments away from switching from the live performance to a commercial when the band segued into “Lithium”
Following are some selected covers for Nirvana’s Rape Me.