When I heard that Dallas Davidson was working on a new solo album, it sounded like just another stupid plan to offload his leftover Bro-Country material now that the songs aren’t selling so well. Harmless. Sure, release a solo album Dallas, and take one last gasp as the Bro-Country songwriting king before you’re relegated to the refuse pile of country music’s most deplorable era.
But apparently, Davidson is all serious about this and shit. I don’t know if he’s trying to get on the radio or make some big splash in the culture at large, but he’s recruited a bunch of rappers and other folks to collaborate with, and he just released a new single called “Laid Back.” And let me tell you folks, it’s a dog.
Before you even hear a peep of this monstrosity, your eyeballs are sent sideways just looking at the weird gaggle of humans Dallas has assembled to collaborate with on the track. Maggie Rose? This major label washout’s career has been so bad, she had to change her name from Margaret Durante halfway through trying to retool. Last time we heard from her, she was begging the Bro-Country boys to condescend and objectify her in the terrible “Girl In Your Truck Song,” and skidded to outside the Top 50 in the charts. Then you have rapper Big Boi from the group Outkast that hasn’t released an album in a decade, and some other 48-year-old rapping has-been named Mannie Fresh.
Where in the hell is Dallas Davidson dredging up these people? This assemblage of talent is the equivalent of plucking Kato Kaelin and Tonya Harding off the celebrity refuse pile.
As bad as “Laid Back” is on paper, the song itself is even worse. There’s a reason Dallas Davidson is known as a songwriter, and not a performer. Hearing him sing is tedious enough. Hearing him white boy pseudo rap over rehashed 80’s Casiotone beats while filching ideas from Florida Georgia Line is enough to rupture your spleen. And then Maggie Rose and her big bag of nothing comes in to sing a verse. Actually she would be about the only thing that’s half tolerable on the track if her lines weren’t ripped right from the lives of douche nozzles who hung out in the parking lots of Taco Bell in the 90’s, infused with reverse female Bro-Country Cole Swindell-style jibber jabber.
And then when the rapping starts, holy shit. I don’t know which one of these dudes it is, if it’s Mannie Fresh, the dude from Outkast, or both, but the words are so aggressively imbecilic and misogynist, it makes you think the only hope for humanity is the rapture. One of the first lines is about how they have their seat belts on so they won’t get harassed by the police. Yeah, real gangster guys. Then there’s the romantic line, “And my girl on the passenger side she’s classy but nasty, UH!” I think that’s what you call and oxymoron fellas.
Then there’s a verse that roughly translates to: “So when I’m asking you to pass me that bang bang, she gon’ do that and hold the saint, ain’t no chain gang.” Take it to mean what you wish, I guess.
Take this thing to behind the barn and shoot it. Dallas Davidson is so clueless of where things are headed. Perhaps he saw all the success his fellow Music Row songwriter Chris Stapleton was having with his career, and thought he could do something fresh. But Davidson and “Laid Back” are like your drunk racist uncle and his mullet—refusing to give up the fight despite the clear, insurmountable odds that time is against them. This isn’t just doubling down on country rap, this is Davidson refusing to come down off the mountain. The only people who even know the name “Dallas Davidson” are pissed off country fans who blame him for ruining the genre. Bro-country fans don’t give a shit who writes the songs.
Davidson still thinks that tractor rap is his golden goose, but when his upcoming album is released, it’s destined to be the oddity of Hastings discount bins in America’s backwaters. I’d rather hear Weird Al cue up a mic and make farting noises with his armpits than this fake rap bullshit. And I hope General Motors sues Dallas Davidson for ripping off their emblem for this white trash ode. Invest your royalty money wisely Davidson, because you ain’t going to be making much more of it headed in this direction.