Jerrod Niemann’s “Donkey” (Review & Rant)

May 7, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  139 Comments


Warning: Language

Country is the only genre of music on planet Earth where the midlife crises of its artists play out on the airwaves and populate the very top of the charts, effecting the sonic path of the entire format for all the world to unbearably behold. And right now, Jerrod Niemann is doing the country music equivalent of blowing his retirement kitty on a red Lamborghini, and showing an unhealthy, creepy interest in his daughter’s hot best friend’s after school extra-curricular activities.

To call Jerrod Niemann an “ass” isn’t even hyperbole at this point. He isn’t spreading his arms wide in a submissive pose and pandering to Music Row to do their worst with him—be damned whatever destruction it might do to his legacy or long-term perception—Niemann’s precarious position at the moment much more resembles the compromising and unsavory posture of the poor bastard that graced the original cover of Pantera’s album Far Beyond Driven. Jerrod Niemann in 2014 might as well be like that fictional, computer-generated pop star in Japan: soulless, inhuman, and completely void of free will, relegated to a malleable piece of pop country EDM silly putty for marketing pricks to digitally program and have do their bidding without any fear of human will hindering the money making process or harboring any resentment or conscience. Jerrod Niemann is nothing more than a puppet, and the iron hands of the recording industry are confidently ensconced in his orifice whose colloquial name is an alternative to the title of his new single, “Donkey”.

Don’t fall for the ruse that just because Jerrod Niemann admits that this song is stupid that it somehow absolves it of all of the inexcusable, heinous sins it commits. Forgo all of the superfluous banjo on this track, Niemann’s cadence on “Donkey” evokes hellish nightmares of a cross between a castrated Right Said Fred and whoever the fuck sang that omnipresent mid 90’s ear worm “How Bizzare”. The line “They all walk funny when they’re done riding you know who,” singularly sets back country music 50 years, and would turn Loretta Lynn into stone like Medusa’s gaze if it ever graced her sainted ears. Our Lord Jesus Christ should resurrect Waylon for the exclusive purpose of shoving one of his Flying “W”‘s straight up old Niemann’s keister to see what kind of gait his pathetic ass would sport afterwards.

The jargon and inspiration for “Donkey” comes directly from the uncultured mouths of mid-pubescent 14-year-old boys with hard on’s, and any man who ever utters the term “honkey tonkey” in his entire existence should be banished from ever feeling the touch of another woman till the end of eternity, or certainly from mentioning the immaculate George Jones or his riding lawnmover in their stupid songs. And Niemann shows just how “country” his designer drug, upper crust dance beats are when he reveals that he thinks the term “donkey” and “mule” are interchangeable.

“Donkey” is an uprovocated ass raping of the ears, and if any Niemannites come here preaching to me the virtues of this song because “country music must evolve,” I will personally take a pair of donkey balls and use them to tea bag each and every one of their bedroom pillows when they’re not looking. “Donkey” isn’t just bad, it defines the catastrophic trainwrecking of the entire human evolutionary timeline. 800,000 years of homo sapien progress brought to a screeching halt because one pudgy douchebag wants an arena-sized “country” career before his pubes turn gray. “Donkey” is a harbinger for a dark age for arts, entertainment, and intelligence that humankind is on the precipice of plummeting headlong into.

The worst song ever? I’m tired to doling out this distinction only to have to offer a revision every six weeks when some other pop country asshole finds a new gradient for rock bottom, but Jerrod Niemann’s EDM-encrusted, braying ass certainly deserves to be in the discussion for that most disgraceful of honors.

Two guns way down!

139 Comments to “Jerrod Niemann’s “Donkey” (Review & Rant)”

  • I lasted 42 seconds…..couldn’t take any more

    • I made it to the exact same time…how does a person make music like this and take themselves serious?

    • Wow, maybe 20 seconds for me. You are a brave man to almost make it to 1 min

  • No way in hell I was gonna chance getting another POS bro-country song stuck in my head. But morbid curiosity overcame me and I looked up the lyrics. So damn glad I haven’t heard the song. Pisses me off to no end people get paid to write this crap.

    • Kind of surprised to see Kyle Jacobs on the songwriting credits. Big difference between Garth Brooks “More Than a Memory” and this crap.

      • You have got to be kidding me. If not….WHO THE HELL IS PAYING THESE WRITERS TO WRITE THIS SHIT?!?!

        • There is a very easy answer to that. Scott Borschetta.

    • I just muted it and watched the lyrics. Was NOT going to rape my ears with that.

      • I did the same thing as well and had to stop at the 1:40 mark of that song.

  • What the hell did I just listen to? They are really releasing that as a single? I hope it bombs on the radio and doesn’t get airplay so we can get beyond this crap. I did a listener survey for the biggest country radio station in Cincinnati the other day. 32 song clips. One from Miranda Lambert (Automatic), one from The Band Perry (Chainsaw), and the other 30 were guys.

  • Wow…just when you think things could not get any lower. My co-workers play a mainstream country station all day and “Bottoms Up” is in HIGH rotation. I hope this song does not get the same treatment. I don’t know if I could take it…

    • This song was just “released to radio” yesterday. I predict it will be a #1 on the hell’s of Niemann’s success with “Drink To That All Night”.

      • If it does, that’s it. No more terrestrial country radio for me. Wouldn’t be able to stand this turd flushing out every time I flip the station. It will be back to tired old worn-out rock, until I can get some new wheels with either satellite or at least an iPod hookup.

        I believe my 2005 Chevy Impala was the last vehicle ever produced sporting a cassette player. Ughh.

        • Just an fyi. You can get a cassette adapter for an ipod. That is what I have to use in my truck.

        • Even better than a tape adapter is an FM Transmitter. I use one made by Duracell. Cost me about $25 and has an adapter for ipod products, or an auxiliary jack for other mp3 players. Plugs into your cigarette lighter or power source. Save yourself the pain of listening to those mainstream stations!

  • Waylon Jennings wouldn’t do anything to Niemann other than utter something sarcastic and dismissive to him. Now Johnny Paycheck on the other hand…

  • As I read through your rant I thought “Geez, it couldn’t possibly be THAT bad?” Holy shit – IT IS! Really and truly horrible – at least the first minute, couldn’t make it any longer.

  • Holy Cow…. That is just plain horrible! But a beautiful read Trig, you are a poet!

  • About 30 seconds in I just started laughing at how bad it was. My word this is terrible. People actually think this is quality music?

  • I unfortunately already knew this song, as it came up when I was looking for recent country songs featuring banjo. I found this video:

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have NEVER in my life had SUCH a violent reaction to a song. When the banjo player with the donkey head came on stage, I vomited red-hot fury-bile, which was still a more pleasant sensation than what my ears were experiencing. These people are making a mockery of country music. Literally.

  • And as if this isn’t bad enough — we’re about to get a Pitbull remix of “Drink to That All Night” too. Seriously. (I’ll pause while everyone here gags.) It’s fascinating to me that Sony is giving Niemann such a huge marketing push because his album didn’t sell! I genuinely don’t know what the label sees in him. If you’ve gotta invest in one of your pop country guys, Sony, at least put your money behind David Nail. He’s 100% better than Niemann.

    • I thought the exact same thing.

      It wouldn’t be so mystifying if Niemann actually had a strong opening week in sales. It all comes right down to supply and demand in base-level economics: where coupled with a heightened demand in Niemann’s material, his commercial profile would be further supplanted.

      Yet, that hasn’t happened. “High Noon” had a pitiful opening week in late March: selling only 14,000 copies and debuting at #3 on the Hot Country Albums Chart. That’s less than what Eric Church’s “The Outsiders” sold in its SEVENTH week, and barely above what Florida-Georgia Line’s full-length debut sold in its SIXTY-FOURTH week.

      That said, I’m actually most relieved front-loaded first-weeks and YouTube views don’t always guarantee broader commercial returns for all entertainers. If that was the case, Colt Ford would be a staple at corporate country airplay. The Jawga Boyz would successfully crossover to airwaves as well. So it remains perplexing to me, to say the least, how Jerrod Niemann’s label remains convinced to throw their full support behind him.

    • As far as Pitbull’s lyrics in his contribution to the remix of “Drink To That All Night” is concerned……………..WOW, who would have guessed he’d mention moonshine? -__-

      However, I’ve got to say I’m SHOCKED he did NOT name-drop his own vodka brand, Voli, for the umpteenth time! ;)

      I’m equally as SHOCKED Pitbull didn’t work in a lame country pun to a certain four-letter word beginning with the letter “C”, or use cornhole as a double entendre! At the very least to that, I’m grateful! =P

  • It reminds me of this shit. I wonder if they’re ripping each other off.

  • This isn’t really being released as single is it? Mules deserve better than this.

  • The proctor gamble ad that came on before this song was better. Makes me actually long for achey breakey heart or Elvira. Honestly though it’s not really any worse than truck yeah or badokadonk. Just newer.

  • Whatever you do, don’t complain about the truck songs. They might start writing donkey songs!!!!!!!

  • The next big hit will be Luke Bryan humping a donkey.


      • Now that these dipshits are making money, they’ll be riding their horsey horsey to the golf coursey coursey

        • “Gonna hawk a loogie loogie,
          right on that loony tuney,
          get all the fan zombies fuming fuming…



    • In a field…on a tailgate…while drinking an ice cold beer…while his ‘girl’ shakes her sugar shaker.

  • Wow – just wow. I cant believe it, but its worse that “Drink to that all night” – unbelievable. Maybe when shooting the video for this song, the donkey will accidentally kick Mr. Neimann in the mouth.

  • After reading these comments I am not even going to give this song a listen.

  • You’re getting good at this. Damn, that was good reading, Trigg.

    • I agree. I think he should write a book.

  • It’s almost a given he had relations with the donkey!

  • This is glam metal cock (literally) rock with a banjo and a rap cadence.

    This is the worst song ever though. The donkey sounds sealed that one up for me.

  • Pure novelty. I can’t get over how sophomoric the themes are and how abrasive the sound is.

    • I couldn’t bear to play the video, but I looked up the lyrics elsewhere. So full of stupid — incredibly forced rhymes, and innuendo too juvenile to qualify as “cheesy”.

      I don’t mind fun or silly music (I used to listen to Dr. Demento’s radio program as a kid, and I still like some of the stuff he used to play); but this is the sort of “song” that should be relegated to album filler or B-side material for the diehard loyal fans to collect and then snicker at or ignore as they please. The fact that it’s even being considered for mainstream airplay just goes to show how far the country format has declined in the just the past decade or two.

  • Wow really… That is what big money is spent on these days? That is just plain embarrasing. Hell a 14 year old kid could have come up with something like that. It just amazes and sickens me that this can get passed onto radio but real artists with something meaningful to sing about can’t get past the Music Row secretary let alone through the front door.

    Thanks Triggerman for posting this so that the youtube views skyrocket this to the top of the charts.

  • I agree that the song is wretched and I hate every single thing about it, but I know Jerrod. My friends have been in his band and I’ve been backstage to many shows and he is a really sweet guy. I think unfortunately he’s trying to ‘keep up with the times’ but overshot it by a hundred miles. If you asked him what his top five favorite songs of all time are, I would bet big money they’d be real traditional country. He’s actually been doing Merle Haggard’s ‘Are The Good Times Really Over’ in his set for a few years now.

    I’m not saying the song doesn’t suck or that anyone else’s opinions are invaled, but I hope that people can understand that he’s a good guy and not what I like to call a ‘country douchebag’.

    • I have no doubt Jerrod Niemann is a nice guy. I don’t doubt most of the pop country artists we hoot on a re decent people, and I don;t think we should ever overlook that. At the same time, if you’re going to put out something like this, you have to expect people to hold your feet to the fire.

    • I’m sorry, but now matter how much of a nice he may be, He is an Epic Super-Doucher when it comes to music. Anybody who strives to be the next flavour of the week deserves all that comes their way. Dale Watson has more talent in his sweat socks than this clown will ever have.

      Enjoy your donkey riding friend, I’m sure in the next few years he will be taking tickets for donkey rides at the circus with the rest of the genre singers.

      • but now matter how much of a nice he may be, He is an Epic Super-Doucher when it comes to music.

        And in this context, that right there is the most important thing, really. Niemann may take in stray puppies and help the little old ladies across the street, but none of that mitigates his supreme arrogance in relation to the “music” he’s putting out and its place in the country music canon.

    • I look at Jerrod like I do Luke and Tim. They are just trying to provide for their families, make a bunch of money and damn the music. I would doubt any of these guys from Blake to Jake Owen feel they make good music. They all know just how the system works, if they don’t sing the songs they will get some other pretty boy in tight jeans to record them. Luckily I think Nashville actually find a few guys who do think what they are doing is great like Brantley Gilbert, Eric Church, FGL, Thomas Rhett ect. Those guys might actually in fact be real douche bags!

    • “but I hope that people can understand that he’s a good guy and not what I like to call a ‘country douchebag’.”

      Perception is reality, Kayla.

  • Holey Donkey Ass!
    I made it to 40 seconds.
    You know, I happen to like the artist BECK. I’m sure everyone knows who he is.
    Well, like him or not, he’s gotta be pissin’ his Dilouth’s over this one.

    Way to go again, Trigger. These rants really loosen up a bad day, brother!!


    How can these pricks stand in front of a mic and pull this shit off?????

  • I must admit that even though I am all about traditional country I get that soccer moms and young girls like today’s country and a lot of your reviews I think are a little harsh. BUT THIS….. Holy shit! I can’t help but wonder how did a group of people (I won’t call them musicians) get together in a room and decide this was a good idea??? Words can’t even describe how terrible that truly was!

  • AND, to add insult to injury (near-death whiplash, to be more blunt)………he releases the pop remix to “Drink To That All Night” featuring Pitbull yesterday as well! =X


    Honestly, I’m shellshocked…………and really don’t know what else to say about this nadir of sorts for the commercial genre.

    I honestly don’t even have any idea how this will fare commercially. On one hand, we can look at the chart failures of “1994” and “Truck Yeah” for (relative) comfort………..yet I also wouldn’t be surprised if this winds up succeeding for much the same reason “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” did for the following reason.

    “Donkey” has a tight hook, an earworm of a chorus and lyrically keeps it simple for all the most heinous reasons. Plus the production is typical bad 80’s arena rock boilerplate. In contrast, the main reason “1994” failed even commercially was because, the obvious atrociousness of it aside, didn’t even have a standout melody or earworm of a chorus. As with “Truck Yeah”, it stalled because the production was just too gritty and busy for a complacent, middle-of-the-road-favoring listening demographic to favor.

    (Unfortunately) “Donkey” is more likely to succeed because it adopts a familiar production scheme and also lyrically lacks any subtlety whatsoever (unlike “1994”, which I bet the lyrical references to Diffie confused many). I’m sure the digital sales for this are going to be robust, and that will influence its radio run as well! -__-


    As for the remix of “Drink To That All Night” with Pitbull………….call me hopeful, but I actually predict it won’t catch on with mainstream listeners as much as Arista Nashville are probably hoping.

    Why? Because Jerrod Niemann lacks a distinctive personality. As much as I can’t stand Florida-Georgia Line, I will at least admit you can tell they are excited about what they do and have an energetic stage presence. Jerrod Niemann, on the other hand, just looks dull and appears as though he’s just going through the motions. And when it comes to pop music, personality is key. Pitbull may have a personality, but it won’t be enough to translate to mass crossover appeal for Niemann.

  • You know I am not a song writer, not even close. That said, anybody out there in this world could write these shitty songs coming out of “Music City” in the last few years, they require no writing talent what so ever. And yet some how they make it to radio?

    I swear as time passes by the more things just completely suck in the entertainment world, radio and television just continue to get worse.

    Just think in about 5 years from now, the Academy Of Country Music will name the next artist of the decade, who ever they pick will no doubt be unworthy of being in the same group of past artist of the decade winners.

    As far as the song donkey goes, it fits Jerrod Niemann to a T, after all he is an ass so he might as well sing about one.

  • Congratulations Jerrod Niemann.

    You have successfully found the sound that makes Bro-Country tolerable by comparison.

  • Which writers keep writing these terrible songs?

    • we should blame these guys. David Tolliver, Jacobs, Fred Wilhelm

  • There’s already a new line dance video set to this swill.

  • Speaking of donkeys….I would rather go watch a donkey show then listen to this tripe!!

  • I lasted 10 sec. I’m out…that’s it. I swear these guys were in a back room somewhere writing this thinking, ” Let’s see if we can get this suck ass song on the charts!” I’m looking forward to Willie in June as well as Kacey and Brandy Clark. I refuse to listen to the radio anymore. Oh, and I refuse to go to what is now the ABC CMA Music Festival.

    • Shooter Jennings announced he is playing that festival

      • Wow, interesting, I wonder what stage? I know Kellie Pickler is playing, as well as Colt Ford (ugh). They’re on the second tier Riverfront Stage, which has an eclectic mix this year. I would go only to attend Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam which is the best kept secret ever!!! And this year Travis Tritt will be there! Along with Sam Moore of Sam and Dave. I may have to find someplace to stay just for that night alone.

        • I saw Travis Tritt in concert earlier this year. He sounds fantastic. He is doing instrumental songs now too.

  • Is it possible there is a group of songwriters that have an inside bet with who can get the most ridiculous song to #1? If so, these guys are in contention. I mean I am sure there are other worst sounding songs but the lyrics in this song blows any song I can think of out of the water!

  • Dammit, Thank You for putting my hatred for this song into words. All I could ever do was try to stab my ears with ink pens, before being restrained by loved ones. I’ll never be happy again knowing this song exists…

  • Holy shitballs, dude. Just when you thought Jerrod Niemann couldn’t set the bar any lower for himself, he goes off and does it. That was nothing short of the audio equivalent of being sodomized while forced to eat shit simultaneously.

    • So… basically this song is the audio equivalent of “The Human Centipede”?

      That’s actually a fantastic way of describing this dreck.

      • PRECISELY. :D

  • I just listened to this while taking a crap. Sounds were pretty much the same. Where’s my record deal?

  • The worst part of this song is the the third rapped verse.

    And I thought 1994 was unbereable.

    If this song hit’s number 1, I’ll go to my local park, find a nice bench and cry my eyes out.

  • Christians ought to be scared about dying/preparing for Jesus. Music this bad has to be a sign that the Rapture is approaching.

  • woah.

  • That song sucks so bad it makes my hair hurt.

  • This is just another festering boil in the crack of corporate country’s ass.

  • Is it normal that after reading the title of this entry I was stricken with an instant erection in anticipation of your epic (in the older sense of the word, before kids these days perverted it) review (instarection?) Probably not, which is fine because that didn’t really happen, but all the same I’ve been eagerly awaiting your take on Niemann’s latest beef-witted barbarity since the studio version was unleashed upon the internet a month ago, and it has exceeded all my expectations. I’ve got no problem with evolution or experimentation, as anyone who knows my taste in music or literature can assure you, but this isn’t it. I couldn’t even pinpoint which form of pandering is worse, the EDM, “rapping”, juvenile double entendres every other line, or self-referential deliberate stupidity that seems a hallmark of many of today’s novelty singles, an unfortunate trend likely instigated, or at least influenced, by Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup.” As has been mentioned in this thread, though, I sadly think there’s a decent chance the scatophagous hordes will enjoy this because of its catchy, simple melody, no matter the flouts and fleers of critics more discerning. That Niemann, like a few other mainstream acts, is actually not a bad vocalist, yet saddles himself with the most wretched material is perhaps sadder still.

  • I was driving home today and my local country station put that on (their music director is a suck up) and I thought they switched formats on me or something. worse was that he was the DJ at the time and called it ” a great new song from Jerrod Niemann”. He won’t play Kacey Musgraves or that new artist Kira Isabella (Trigger look her up, powerful songs) but this piece of crap get spin time.I listened to exactly the first 3 seconds and changed the channel.

    His “friend” Jamey Johnson needs to whack a guitar over his head or something for that one.

    • I’m glad somebody mentioned Isabella. She just released a great new single called, “Quarterback.” A song that actually deals with an important issue in high schools everywhere.

      • I know the I live in a border state and the first time i heard it was on Cool 100.1 CHCQ Belleville Ontario. That song is very strong and very good. I really like her stuff. She pitched it to radio down here and it is getting very little play time. Probably because the song is too “controversial” in most places here. CHCQ also still plays Musgraves all four of her releases. apparently Canadian country radio isn’t as bought as ours yet.

  • This song makes the baby Jesus cry.

  • Thank you, Trigger for demolishing this horrible song. I made it 55 seconds and it was all I could to last that long. Niemann is definitely going through some mid-life crisis because he was bearable just a few years ago. Now he’s trying to race Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan to the bottom of the bottomless pit of mainstream country music. Donkey is the worst country song ever, in my opinion. That is for now. It will be topped again soon.

  • I am embarrassed. I had nothing to do with the creation of this song, and I feel embarrassment. My wife was reading in the adjacent room and said, “Honey, you can turn the speakers up if you want to listen to music, it won’t distract me from reading or anything”. I had to tell her, “No, it’s just too bad.”

    That is seriously way worse than I thought it would be, even having read the lyrics prior. Is this the same guy who recorded Lover, Lover? Holy crap. This sounds like a Tim & Eric Show-esque mock/parody recording.

  • Jerrod could give a fuck less what you think. He’s got Nashville’s arm elbow deep up his ass to worry about. All his concentration goes towards being a good puppet and towing the line. Besides, if it wasn’t him, it would just be some other asshole that needs to be taken out back behind the “honkey tonkey”. He’ll get his come uppins, just be patient.

  • You have a way with words, amigo.

    This hideously vile and banal crap deserves all the brickbats you and others throw at it..

    Hearing this asshat invoke George Jones is nothing more than an artistically bankrupt singer’s trying to trade on George’s country music capital.

    This guy should be keelhauled on the General Jackson going down the Cumberland River at 30 knots.

  • Even this guy’s donkey thinks he’s a pussy.

    I just came back from feeding my 3 donkeys and they will never wear the trite sign this idiot has appended to an otherwise attractive animal.

    It’s reflective of his shallow lyrics, although I doubt that many folks on his label writer their own lyrics.

  • Is this a Weird Al cover of the 69 Boyz?

  • This sounds just like a country version of a Ke$ha song – but I don’t know enough about Mr. Niemann to tell whether it has Ke$ha’s clever, deliberate pop subversion or not. Godawful yes, but it’s just a novelty song. Confirms that there has never been a good song about a donkey. I’m looking at you, Lou Monte.

  • ” “Donkey” is a harbinger for a dark age for arts, entertainment, and intelligence that humankind is on the precipice of plummeting headlong into. ”

    This is a brilliant sentence .
    I haven’t heard this song and with a little luck , I won’t .
    Maybe its time for an article on how The Jerrod Neiman’s , Luke Bryan’s and their talentless ‘breed’ manage to find a way to dominate the charts. I mean …I have a gazillion questions . WHO in God’s name sees these guys as being talented enough to invest time and money in ? WHERE were they working ans singing this dreadful stuff where someone said ” Now THAT’S what I’m talkin about …this guy is a STAR !!! ” . I mean , do ALL of these excuses for singers and musicians and writers have daddies like Taylor Swift’s BUYING them a job in the industry ? What gives …I mean really . How is it that we are continually subjected to this crap when there are amazing singers everywhere ( How bout THE VOICE finalists , for example ) AMAZING songwriters who’ve honed their skills over decades and can’t get a cut , INCREDIBLY GIFTED , SKILLED , SEASONED MUSICIANS who’s services are no longer required on a country record ( fiddle players , steel guys , harmonica genii , dobro guys , you name it …all we get are twin Les Pauls on 11 and a token banjo ) . What the hell is going on ??
    I meant to say ” pass the sugar , please ” .

    • “I mean , do ALL of these excuses for singers and musicians and writers have daddies like Taylor Swift’s BUYING them a job in the industry ?”

      It is very easy to criticize this song and bro-country in general without slandering Taylor Swift, who has nothing to do with this conversation.

      • Couldn’t disagree with you more, Eric. Taylor Swift is the *perfect* name to drop into Abert’s line of questioning. If you’re not familiar, Swift’s father DID buy her way into a record deal. The number differs depending on who you speak to, but it was in the multiple millions. As a businessman, he knew what he was doing, as he also became a partner in the company with this financial infusion.

        But to further Albert’s point, Taylor Swift was manufactured from day one. The road was paved, she was packaged and promoted as a “crossover artist” from the get-go and put in rooms with some of the greatest songwriters in Nashville (thus, the world) all because her daddy HAD MONEY. She never had to pay a due in her artistic life. How could she have, when she came here at 13? And since every 12 year old girl in the country rushed out to buy her mindless pop albums, now Nashville labels think anyone over age 25 is too old for country music. That’s the true crime. Swift has been one of the main contributors to the destruction of the genre and it speaks directly to Albert’s question of “how are we getting stuck with this crap?”

        • Can you cite a single source that states that her father paid “millions” to buy a record deal? Also, FYI, Taylor’s father was a stockbroker, and stockbroker salaries are generally well below the top 1% range, definitely not enough to throw “multiple millions” into a record deal. There are plenty of aspiring country singers whose families earn far more.

          Have you ever considered that having earned a publishing deal with Sony at the age of 13 probably served as the key factor in her getting noticed by Nashville record labels?

          Regarding her music: if you take a look at the themes from her songs, they are very much in the mold of pre-bro country music. They were basically the opposite of bro-country, in lyrics, musical style, and gender appeal.

          • All of the companies listed in the article popped up after Taylor became famous and wealthy. Furthermore, her father does not necessarily own any of them. If you look at the fine print, it just mentions that he is involved with those companies, possibly as an employee.

            As the article mentions, her father worked as a financial advisor before Taylor became famous. Can you cite any evidence that he shelled out millions of dollars then?

          • Eric, I get it…you’re a big Swift fan. TAKE NOTE: I never suggested Swift made “bro-country”. That’s ridiculous. Rather, I said she was brought up pre-packaged to be a crossover artist and thus, not really interested in “country” music. It’s one of the contributing factors to the erosion that’s taken place in the genre since, thus LEADING to its current sorry state and bro-country.

            And please spare me with the “can you cite a source that proves it?” BS. Can you site a source that disproves it? Better yet, can you provide a source that proves your assertion that: “There are plenty of aspiring country singers whose families earn far more.” Nevermind, it’s a waste of time and I don’t really care. But hey, the onus is on me to prove it, I guess.

            Just fyi, you’re wrong on the source MH posted. At the bottom of the page it states that Scott is not an employee or a signee, but OWNER of the bus company. And I guarantee he’s more involved in all the ventures listed than just a signatory.

            But for you to claim that: “Taylor’s father was a stockbroker, and stockbroker salaries are generally well below the top 1% range” reveals you are ignorant of the subject matter. And while Trigger’s article you linked to was well written, in his effort to be fair, it doesn’t dig deep enough and misses some MAJOR key points. For instance…

            To state Scott Swift is just a simple “stock broker” is a severe understatement. Scott comes from three generations of bank owners. He’s not just a simple broker, the dude has *generational* money. Mega bucks, in other words. All he’s had to do his whole life is “manage” it. And when they moved to Nashville, Scott was not just a broker but VP of Wealth Management for Merrill Lynch with a side-venture Swift Wealth Services. “VP of wealth management” is majorly different than “stock broker”. Also, Taylor’s mother comes from oil money and was an executive at a mutual fund company herself. She’s no slouch either. To say they lived on a “modest 11 acre tree farm” proves nothing more than that they had at least one house that was well below their means. The New Jersey house they owned simultaneously, where Swift spent her summers (mentioned in the article), is in a section of New Jersey where the MEDIAN price of a house is a million bucks. So they clearly had more than enough money to drop a few million into her fledgling recording career.

            Lastly, I’ll just state this: I know he shelled out…because I KNOW, including some of the parties/lawyers involved. Buying a record deal is something that NEITHER the artist NOR the record label wants being public knowledge. It looks bad for both sides. So NO, you’re not going to find the written/documented proof (unless you have access to the label’s internal files.) They certainly aren’t going to advertise it. Here on Music Row though, the word got out long ago and we ALL know about it. A simple Google search will reveal that Scott Swift is a partner in the company & I guarantee you, THAT doesn’t happen for no reason. (I could give you the entire history of the Swift deal, but will spare us both.) Also take a look at how they cut out Taylor’s first lawyer (the guy who helped pave her way) and take a look at the since-made-public emails between Scott Swift and Scott Borchetta and the wordage used… You’ll find the Swift’s are brutal businesspeople willing to go to the mattresses for a few million.

            But alas, I’m sick of yapping about Taylor Swift to a groupie & detouring from the more important topic at hand: this Niemann song sucks ass!

          • Paco,

            I will note that Scott Swift became the owner of the bus company in 2010, well after Taylor and Big Machine acquired massive wealth.

            As for Scott’s partnership in Big Machine, he owned only 3% of the shares in the company from its inception. You need to prove to me how that amounts to “millions” of dollars.

            Most importantly, you have told me absolutely nothing about how you obtained your information. Perhaps you could mention your profession?

          • From Rolling Stone magazine via Wikipedia:

            “She became one of the label’s first signings, with her father purchasing a three per cent stake in the fledgling company at an estimated cost of $120,000.”

            So, well below a million dollars.

          • Eric, I’m a staff writer/musician here on Music Row. Label & publisher shall remain anonymous. I personally know many of those inside this deal including the label head, writers, lawyers, etc.

            You posted the part about Swift being one of the label’s first signed artists, etc. That’s correct. With that, I’ll give you the briefest of history.

            Scott Borchetta was in record promotions & development for years. He worked for all of them: Capital, RCA, MCA, Mercury, Dreamworks, Universal. ALL of ‘em. He knew record promotion and decided to create his own label and set out with Big Machine. Scott Swift had done his homework on record promoters and had been courting Borchetta for a year prior to the label’s launch, knowing he was knowledgable in promoting new artists. If you’re not aware of the game, it takes a TON of money to run a publishing company and it takes DOUBLE THAT to run a record label in Nashville. The overhead is astronomical. That’s why Borchetta started Big Machine with an investor AND as a joint venture with Toby Keith– Keith provided extra investment dollars, publicity and even bought the office building & shared the space with Borchetta. The company launched in late 2005, and Borchetta signed Swift, Jack Ingram and Danielle Peck as his first artists. The label struggled and things did not take off at first. Keith pulled up his stakes in the company in less than a year (but I believe as an original investor, he still owns a 10% stake in the company).

            The 3% stake you mentioned is what you see on the surface. It’s what is on the legal documents showing Swift’s partnership. The real investment came by way of PROMOTIONAL / MARKETING dollars. If you’re unaware, the rule of thumb in Nashville is that when you are breaking a brand new artist, it takes a MINIMUM of $1 MILLION dollars in promotional budget just to get them exposed to the national audience (that million covers: music videos, photo shoots, nation-wide radio tours, meet n greets, free live shows w/crews, hotel/travel, CD printing, swag, etc, etc). Scott Swift had contacted Scott Borchetta a year before Big Machine ever launched and offered multiple millions TO COVER THE PROMOTIONAL COSTS of launching his daughter. And he well OVERPAID. In other words, he paid to make her the focus of the bulk of the label’s attention. (This certainly seems to play out when you look at how quickly Ingram and Peck were forgotten by their own label and subsequently dropped.) So basically, Swift offered the label millions in FREE PROMOTION with which to focus on and launch his daughter.

            NOTE: ***There isn’t a record label in the world that would turn down a deal like that– especially not when it’s struggling just to keep the lights on.***

            As a smart businessman, Swift made sure his investment wasn’t going to go unaccounted for, so in exchange, he worked out a stake in the company. He *is* a wealth planner, after all. He WILL get his. I guarantee you, the 3% is what is on the public documents, but Swift’s investment was much, much greater. Also note, some estimates say the company is worth at least $200 million at this point, so his multi-million dollar investment has made him considerable ROI.

            So, well above a million dollars.

          • Are you suggesting that you know Scott Borchetta personally and you obtained this information directly from him?

            You mentioned lawyers. Was this supposed deal to cover promotion costs set in stone with a contract, or was it a verbal reassurance?

            Do you know what portion of the promotional costs Taylor’s father covered?

          • Yes, I personally know Borchetta.

            Given Swift’s monetary expertise, it would be hard for me to believe the deal is not in writing. Most likely it exists in the same document that outlines the 3% stake. But I’ve never seen the document and can’t say for certain. Nobody will ever see it, for reasons previously mentioned.

            The promotional figure I’ve been told, and the number most people reference here, is $3 million.

            Eric, Trigger has posted a brand new Taylor Swift story about her coke habit. Head over and defend her on that page for a while. I’m gonna let people get back to bitching about this Jerrod Niemann song and the destruction the genre.

          • Eric…are you Taylor? :-D

        • So I guess you can say that Taylor Swift is the Niki Lauda of country music?? The only difference is that Lauda had talent in his chosen field…..Racing fans will understand the post.

          • For those who don’t know the story, Niki Lauda is a three time Formula One world champion. His family lineage is of a long of line in successful businessmen and economists in Vienna, Austria. When his family refused to support his racing career, he took out a loan and brought his way on to an F-1 team, Marlboro BRM, in 1972 instead of messing around in the lower divisions. Two years after that, he was signed by Ferrarri after his talents for driving and setting up cars. He would go on to win the world title in 1975, 1977, and 1984. No it is not just from the movie Rush, it actually happened.

    • Nobody sees them as talented enough. They see them as willing to do whatever it takes to be popular and successful without any regard for self-worth or principles. That is the model Jerrod Niemann and Luke Bryan inhabit. For Florida-Georgia Line, they never knew any better. They were born and raised around fabricated country stars.

    • I am seriously wondering if the people currently running the country music biz secretly hated country music before they got where they are, and have a pact to destroy it. Because they couldn’t do a more bang-up job of destroying what was country music if they were seriously trying to do so. Just another traditional institution which historically was perceived to celebrate America in various ways, being destroyed, and now they hardly even bother to make a pretense of paying lip service to the ones who built it. They seem to get bolder and bolder, as time passes (jackasses? old farts? and other such terms of “respect” to the traditional musicians and fans) in being dismissive of the music which was country’s foundation, and of the people who made it and listened to it.

  • I’m 14 and I believe I could come up with better lyrics than this. I’m really bothered when you’ve got brilliant writers such as Jason Isbell who writes “There’s one thing that’s real clear to me no one dies with dignity we just try to ignore the elephant somehow” (My mother died of cancer) and this crap about a donkey is the more popular song. But hey, according to Blake Shelton we kids don’t like our grandpa’s music so I guess I should throw away my Webb Pierce records…

    • I call upon all the Jedi–protect this youngling from the Dark Side of the Force!

  • How the fuck could anyone enjoy this song? Whats sad is, after reading the youtube comments, some people really do enjoy this song.

  • I swear that I was driving home yesterday and some new song Colt Ford has out came on the radio called “High Life” and it literally dawned on me how guys like Jerrod Niemann and some others have become much worse than Colt Ford all of a sudden. I can actually see in some of Colt Ford’s songs that if they were truly sang by a country artist, they would not be that bad. Songs like Donkey and all these new EDM influenced songs have just leapfrogged Colt Ford and become much worse for Country music in my opinion.

  • It’s clear that Jerrod Neimman knows this is a dumb song. In a Youtube video of him performing it live with a banjo-playing donkey mascot, he calls it “possibly the worst song I’ve ever heard… or the best,” while grinning like a Cheshire cat.

    In my opinon, if it had merely been released as a silly Youtube video or a goofy bonus track at the end of the album, it wouldn’t be a big deal. It would still be stupid, but it would have been easy to ignore.The fact that it is being released as the second single from Jerrod Neimman’s album is what I find to be cynical.

    I predict Neimman’s fans, at least the ones that like his current material, will say that critics of the song can’t take a joke. They will say that we need to get a sense of humor, and don’t understand that not every song needs to be some kind of deep meditation, which is true. I also predict that some reviewer will point to past novelty songs by beloved artists, such as “High Tech Redneck” or “Chicken In Black” as precedent for “Donkey.”

    My beef with “Donkey” in particular is that, first of all, unlike other silly country songs, it’s not actually a country song, it’s a novelty rap song. But it’s also not actually a funny song, which is why it fails, even by its own standards. What is ultimatley most disheartening is that it will probably be a *hit* song. (For comparison’s sake, “Chicken In Black” didn’t crack the top 40.) I might be wrong about that, and I hope I am. But it wouldn’t be surprising, considering that trifling, inane novelties are now the dominant mode of the country genre, rather than an occasional small part.

  • Someone needs to do some sort of mash-up:

    Honky Tonky Badonka-Donkey

  • If Garth Brooks was panty-hose then I think we just found out what a medieval chastity belt sounds like.

  • I can’t help but invision the trashy line dance this has or will inspire …. shameless donkey twerking and the now obligatory shaking that moneymaker …
    Just kill me now, please, please..

  • I can’t believe these are grown men singing this shit.

  • This will be on the list of songs played at baseball and hockey games and weddings. You know what I’m talking about… Who let the dawgs out at the YMCA? Cotton eyed joe did because he had an achy breaky heart after he he watched his wife do the macarena and cha cha slide.

  • This is why America is failing.

  • Wow, Jerrod….You really showed your ass.

  • There is evidence to support ( but please don’t ask me to locate it , Eric ) just how easily we can sold on ” things”- manipulated ( Look no further than the Pet Rock , if you are old enough to remember THAT marketing miracle or Paris Hilton …the Kardashian shows …etc..etc.. ) On the one hand , many of us are quite content to like what others like as its a peer thing …we want to be seen as a part of a group that thinks , acts , speaks the same way. Marching to your own drummer is not only a frightening prospect financially and artistically …but you run the real risk of being ostracized for it …especially a younger person who may need the affirmations and emotional support of peers. AND its just plain hard work emotionally when you attempt to go against the grain . We’ve become a culture that WANTS to be sold on something because we WANT to feel the sense of power that comes from BUYING it. Armed with that time-tested tidbit , marketers just need the $$$ to put that THING in front of our faces often enough that we become familiar with it . Notice I didn’t say ” like it ” ….just familiar enough with it …comfortable with it inhabiting our space .( Like an invasion by another country .) Once you are “comfortable” with its existence , its presence , the rest falls into play relatively easily…changing rules/laws/mores .
    Ok …huge digression .To my point – If we don’t turn off the radio when its invading OUR space with ITS crap..(.music , commercials..gossip etc.. ) , we become comfortable with its existence there . Then , a bit more of that crap squeaks through the same door and continues to do so until we are TOTALLY comfortable with it being there.- Twerkers, Donkey songs, Blonde girls whose initals are T.S,..etc. We’ve let 12 year old mentalities infiltrate our space and , as a culture , we’ve somehow become comfortable enough with it to let them live in it at our own peril . We’ve gotta turn off the radio and seek out the plethora of alternatives if we value and appreciate the space we’ve carved out for ourselves .

    • My apologies to 12 year olds . My intention was to indicate , as is common knowledge , that the “very young” demographic is the one being targeted by marketers …and successfully so , in many cases. I could have as easily said 11 year olds or 13 year olds etc as this group ( and those who buy FOR them ) would fall into that target demographic.

      • Understood, Albert! And fully agree.

    • Tell me if this song represents a “12-year-old mentality”:

      • With due respect to your love of T.S , Eric ..this lyric is a trite , trite under explored observation of the theme , at best . Cliche dominates it in rhyme and imagery , nothing fresh or innovative here. BTW …T.S does not write her lyric /music . She co-writes ( see below ) ..often with seasoned craftsman who know HOW to target a demographic and sell to it by hitting the right buttons , as they did very successfully with RED . It doesn’t make it an artistic achievement- MacDonalds has served over a BILLION burgers , they keep telling us ,and its an accepted fact that that stuff will kill you eventually . It simply makes it a successful bit of pop ear candy which , at the risk of wearing out my ‘voice’, is designed for a young demographic . like Tele Tubbies or ( your child’s favourite cartoon band here ) ..
        In any case , as someone else has rightly pointed out …the Taylor ship has sailed .
        It knows what ports to drop anchor in where it can pillage the village and sail on to the next.

        These are the co-writers on RED ( the album )
        Dan Wilson, (age 51) Musician, songwriter, producer.
        Genres: Folk-rock, pop, alternative rock.

        Butch Walker, (age 42) Singer-songwriter, musician, producer.
        Genres: Glam metal (early), Pop punk, Post-grunge, Rock, Pop rock, Hard rock

        Max Martin, (age 41) Swedish Producer – Songwriter, Producer, Singer.
        Genres: Pop, Dance pop, Pop rock, Rock, R&B

        Lori McKenna, (age 43) Singer-songwriter.

        Ed Sheeran, (age 21) Singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, beatboxer.
        Genres: Folk, acoustic

        and ….

        • BTW ….you’ll notice under the credentials of each writer above there is no mention of “COUNTRY MUSIC “

        • “. BTW …T.S does not write her lyric /music . She co-writes ( see below )

          “That’s an incorrect statement. I checked the songwriting credits on Red and saw that Taylor Swift is the solo songwriter on a majority of the songs (8 out of 15).

          • I stand corrected , Jack . I got this info from a writer’s site . I don’t own RED for the reasons I’ve already talked about above. I’m familiar with enough with her singles ( radio stuff ) and I’ve seen video brought to my attention by a few young music students I teach ( who are writers, by the way, and feel the same – inferior writing ) and I’m not a fan . No disrespect to anyone who may be , though, and obviously they number in the millions world wide.

          • I don’t own it either. Got that info from My wife has it on her iPhone and so I have heard it a couple of times in the car. I can listen to it without going stir crazy, and I think I remember liking the sound of some of the songs. That’s much, much more than I can say for songs like this and other from the so called “bro-country” set.

        • To paraphrase a comment Trigger once made: if “Sad Beautiful Tragic” belonged on the “trite” side of the modern musical spectrum, then Saving Country Music would not be necessary.

          • Alright, since my name keeps getting evoked in this conversation (which continues to steer further and further from the actual content of this particular article, but whatever)….

            The conspiracy theories about Taylor Swift’s dad “buying” her career have been out there for years, and until someone pony’s up a picture of 250,000 CD’s sitting in a warehouse purchased by her father, or some other substantial evidence, this will remain a conspiracy. I’m not even saying that it didn’t happen. There are tons of people who will tell you they know somebody who knows somebody that swears they know it happened. But still, there’s yet to be any substantial evidence that any of impropriety happened. If that evidence came to light, trust me, I’d be the first to post it.

            Also, let’s observe two things 1) If you had a child, wouldn’t you want them to succeed? And wouldn’t you spend money on them to make that happen if you could? Parents of Olympians, athletes, actors, and so on blow tons of cash for their kids to succeed. 2) No matter how much money Swift’s dad spent on her career, can we all agree that financially it was a sound investment? It has payed off for him and his family in spades. He’s an investor, and he saw the benefit of getting on something at the ground floor, and watching it rise. What does all of this say about Taylor’s music? It’s sort of irrelevant to the topic, but until someone delivers me proof that some impropriety occurred (boosting MediaBase numbers with dummy sales, etc, which again, very well could have occurred), then it’s all just conjecture.

            2) As I have said numerous times about Swift, compared to most of what is being played on country radio, most (but not all) of her music actually has more substance. It goes without saying that there are hundreds of artists that are much better than Swift, and that also didn’t have the opportunities she did with upper middle class parents who supported her, but holding that against her can veer towards class envy, and not take into consideration that even though there are many that have worked much harder than her, Swift has been recognized my many in the industry for being on the cutting edge of social media, and MySpace specifically, answering every email her fans sent her in the early days, and that was as tantamount to her success as anything. She also spent years on radio tours and playing opening spots before she hit it big. No question money helped. But Swift’s dad and Scott Borchetta took a big risk with her, and it paid off, for better or worse for country music.

    • I dunno–a lot of good can come from these fads. My wife made sure we have several large totes of stuffed toys under our bed. If it wasn’t for them, we would have a lot more dust under there. So it is good for allergies, or so I’m told. Right? Riiight…

      On a related note, anybody wanna buy some vintage Beanie Babies? Anybody?? Don’t everybody speak at once, now.

      (I wanna roll all that cash that’s tied up in them over into breaking the next teen country pop sensation. By my recollection, for my original BB investment, I could just about meet Paco Taco’s budget up there.) :(

  • I’ve just started writing songs. I don’t think I have any Grammy candidates but I’m not ashamed of them. I’d be ashamed of this song if it were mine.

    Of course the only way it could have been written by me would be if I’d been on some kind of acid trip.

    • I know nothing about you and I am against drug use in general but I think you are giving acid trips a bad name.

  • And you know, I just thought of something else…

    Don’t fall for the ruse that just because Jerrod Niemann admits that this song is stupid that it somehow absolves it of all of the inexcusable, heinous sins it commits

    Jerrod Niemann actually admitted this was a stupid song? And he still recorded it and is still promoting it as a natural “evolution” of country music? A few words come to mind, among them brazen, cynical, and shameless.

    Also, at this stage of the game, I really think it’s a bit late to still be getting all het up about Taylor Swift.

  • Every time I see his name for a split second I think it says Jerrod Nimrod and after listening to this song I may not be far off.

  • From the guy who wrote and sang, “Old School New Again”, this donkey song is sad. Really, just sad. I bought and liked Jerrod’s first album. Bought his second and listened to it maybe twice. Saw his show over year ago and have to admit it was quite entertaining (with the exeption of when he decided to sing “Only God Could Love You More” acoustically with weird lighting and all serious like it was the deepest, emotionally charged, and greatest song ever written. It was creepy.) Have heard, “Drink to That All Night” on the radio a couple of times. So, I walked right past this new album when it came out (and since).

    I listened to part of this Donkey song ( I don’t know, maybe a minute) a while back when it was mentioned on here. One word: drivel, like most of what has been coming out of NashVegas since…I can’t remember the last time a mainstream country song connected with me.

  • “800,000 years of homo sapien progress brought to a screeching halt because one pudgy douchebag wants an arena-sized “country” career before his pubes turn gray.”

    That part made me laugh my ass off! HAHAHAHA!!!

  • So… he borrowed the opening guitar riff from Offspring’s “Gone Away”, the verse cadence to “Loser” by Beck, the banjo part (not to mention the rest of the song’s inspiration) from Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)”, the chorus seems weirdly familiar too, but I’m having a hard time placing it… (Five times through it trying to jog my memory was bad enough, sorry guys, not going to torture myself to make a point.)

    There’s not a single original (or intelligent) thing in this song. It’s literally a mashup of other people’s successful bits and pieces… Kinda like any hit by Nickelback, but Jerrod Niemann’s no Chad Kroeger.

  • So I see a bunch of bashing on Mr Niemann’s song I personally think is undeserved. I like the song, I think its fun, catchy, memorable and energetic. Anyone here remember everything Travis Tritt wrote? He is a historic artist and I COMPLETELY respect him. However, when his music was popular in the 80s and early 90s, a bunch of music critics called him way too pop and said he had no staying power. Well, I’m here to inform the former Travis critics that they were wrong, and I’m guessing the newer Niemann critics are wrong too. There is a very simple solution though, load your Ipod with all the Hank Sr, Patsy, Dolly, Merle and Waylon you can find, and just turn off the radio forever, then you will always have all the pure country you can take. By the way, leave out Hank Jr, (too southern rock), Willie (too much folk), Reba ( too progressive), Alan (cuz of that dumb watermelon line dance song he wrote) . I will go on showing respect to artists that have the guts to try something that doesn’t fit into a critics neat little box of 4/4 time and 3 chords, whether its great or not. BTW, the video has over 300 thousand hits all ready, I think all your complaining probably is NOT gonna stop this thing from being one of the most requested and downloaded songs this year. good luck getting yourself back to 1961

  • This song actually just ruined country music… i mean… this is the type of meaning i expect from rap and pop but… its a sex song…. im pretty pissed.. and i really like his music..


  • Wow. just wow. Now where’s the singer who gave “Lover Lover” an interesting rendition? I thought the trashy #selfie song is better than this.

  • I didn’t read the comments but just in case you didnt know, this song interpolates a hip hop booty song named by 12 Gauge called Dunkie Butt… check the chorus…

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