On Monday night, the anger of many country music fans boiled over when they finally woke up to the realization that their favorite country stars had been swapped out for scab “replacement” stars by the country music industry, with many of the replacements being castaways from pop.
Fans took to social media to vent their anger, posting “meme’s” and citing specific artists and songs they are hearing on the radio right now, including The Ford Truck Man Toby Keith’s song “Red Solo Cup”.
“It’s a song about a ****ing plastic cup!” wrote John from Ohio on his Facebook page. “Why are my ear holes being subjected to this bullsh**!?!? And another song is called “Corn Star” ?!?! REALLY?! I wouldn’t let me parakeet sh** on this mess!”
Arthur from Florida wrote via Twitter.“Ahhhh! I swear, if I hear another ding dong song about trucks, I’m gonna start drowning adorable little baby animals!”
Others showed concern about country music as an institution, like Mary from Texas.
“With country rap, bad pop acts, and nearly every song about pickups trucks or ice cold beer, I am seriously worried about the integrity of the genre moving forward. I love you country music, but if it stays like this for much longer, I’m no longer going to listen.”
The reason for the replacement country stars is a contract dispute between real country music artists and Music Row–Nashville’s concentration of major labels. Apparently Music Row wants the real artists to sign on to restrictive stipulations that would limit their creative freedom, restrict their earnings from their music, and make them virtual slaves to label demands. Meanwhile the replacement stars are more than happy to just have an opportunity in the music business, many because their talents are not good enough to make it in music traditionally, or to cut it in other genres.
Professor of music sociology at Vanderbilt University Gertrude Frankenfurter explains why the outrage is occurring now:
Take the situation surrounding the NFL’s striking officials. People woke up to the fact that poorly-trained, unskilled officials would not work out almost immediately. But with country music, the use of replacement stars was implemented slowly over time, so people wouldn’t get wise that they were slowly being fed a lesser product. But maybe the country music industry crossed a line with its current batch of stars and songs, and people are finally realizing what has happened.
Professor Frankenfurter says country music is unique in how it seems to reward mediocrity.
As we see with the NFL right now, hiring lesser-talented individuals might help you make more money for a while, but eventually the lack of talent will begin to erode the integrity of the industry. That’s what’s happening in country music. Or let’s say the NFL hired officials based on their physical attractiveness as opposed to their talents. There seems to be very few industries that reward mediocrity, but country music appears to be one of them. The best and brightest are left in the shadows while the lesser-talented flourish.
“Kenny Cheseny sucks!” wrote Bubba from Iowa last night on Facebook. “He should take his butt buddy Tim McGraw on a vacation to Kandahar and hopefully get blowed up!”
Replacement country star, The Ford Truck Man Toby Keith released this video response to the replacement country star controversy.