Grandson “Struggle” Turns Waylon Songs Into Rap
The rapping grandson of Waylon Jennings, one Will “Young Struggle” Harness, or “Struggle” as he prefers to go by now has a new album out called I Am Struggle, that doesn’t just borrow heavily from Waylon’s catalog, it is downright built from it. 7 of the 9 tracks on the country rap record directly incorporate samples and structures of Waylon tunes in an unprecedented intrusion of rap into the country music format and its catalog of legendary recordings from one of its most legendary artists.
What is the legacy of the sons and grandsons of country music royalty? It is of them getting a break in the music business because of their name, but then immediately rebelling against what the music world wanted them to be, which were living facsimile’s of their predecessors. Hank Williams Jr., Hank Williams III, Shooter Jennings, Justin Townes Earle, and on and on, and stretching to the daughters of country music like Carlene Carter and Rosanne Cash; they sweated blood and made deep sacrifices to divest themselves from familial expectations and industry shortcuts bestowed by their names to stand on their own two feet as artists.
With Struggle and this album, the approach seems to be the exact opposite, despite whatever words of explanation may accompany the project. It is taking from the Jennings family legacy and riding it as far as it will take him—so much so that it is hard to tell where Waylon’s music stops, and Struggle’s music begins. With the prohibitive costs of permissions in music these days, I Am Struggle would be impossible for anyone to make that didn’t have a direct line to the Waylon estate. Waylon’s primary estate executors Jessi Colter and Shooter Jennings actively participate in I Am Struggle, with both making appearances on the album. I Am Struggle is nepotism on steroids.
The use of Waylon’s songs in I Am Struggle brings up all sorts of ethical questions. Is it right to do this with a dead man’s songs? Does anyone have the right, beyond the legal aspects, to deem this practice appropriate with any deceased artist? What would Waylon think about country rap, and what would he think about his songs being turned into it? Would Waylon approve of Struggle’s style, and the free flow of iniquitous themes and vulgarity that accompany his music (and now Waylon’s by proxy)?
And that takes us to the actual content of I Am Struggle. Taking Waylon songs and incorporating them with dance beats or even adding rap verses to them is one thing. Taking a classic Waylon song like “Are You Ready For The Country” (originally written by Neil Young) and adding lines like, “Show me what is was and I’ll a show you what it will be. I got my hand on my nuts, can you feel me?” is something else entirely. Struggle’s lyrics commonly touch on criminal activity; a world he knows of first hand, having been indicted on federal drug trafficking charges and served time.
The precursor to I Am Struggle was a country rap single built from Waylon’s song “Outlaw Shit,” a slower, newer version of his classic “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand?” The irony is that in the original Waylon song, Jennings espouses his disdain for the marketing of his music and persona as “outlaw,” and blames it for his own legal troubles. Struggle on the other had embraces this persona, with the words “Gangsta II The Bone” tattooed across his breastplate, and infusing his songs (or Waylon’s) with bellicose, urban gangster jargon and threats. The day Struggle’s “Outlaw Shit” was released as a single, he was incarcerated in a Davidson County jail. Many believe this was a marketing ploy to promote the song.
One thing we can assume is that Struggle has nothing less but undying respect for Waylon and his music. Struggle was not just some distant relative to Waylon that barely knew him who is now riding his name. Growing up, Struggle would spend summers on Waylon’s road crew, and his mother worked for a while as one of Waylon’s backup singers as she pursued her own career in music. However, Struggle has no blood relation to Waylon. His mother is the daughter from Jessi Colter’s first marriage to rock & roll guitarist Duane Eddy. Waylon only became Struggles named grandfather after the Jessi Colter / Duane Eddy divorce.
Something else worth pointing out about Struggle is that he is no Blake Shelton or Jason Aldean, and his songs are no “Dirt Road Anthem.” As I’ve also said about fellow Southern white rapper Yelawolf, Struggle has talent. He has a lot of talent. As offensive as I Am Struggle may be to the legacy of Waylon and to Waylon Jennings fans, some of the songs on the album are quite catchy, and some of the lines are infused with tremendous wit. The problem is with the way they are presented.
Hank didn’t do it this way, and neither did Waylon. Nor did Shooter, Hank Jr., or Hank3. How did we get to this point in country music when taking the life’s work of a country music legend and regurgitating it into vulgarity-laden country rap did not result in downright outspread public outrage? With the Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams project, there was protest, and a fundamental feeling that those songs were not anyone’s to do with what they pleased; a feeling shared by the executors of the Williams estate.
Would Waylon approve of this being done to his music? I can’t answer that question. Nobody can answer that question. That is why caution, and deference to the deceased should be used in these instances.
When Taylor Swift won her first CMA for Entertainer of the Year there was outrage because of the sense that country music was living too much in the present moment. I Am Struggle‘s use of Waylon songs is almost an audio version re-writing the past.
One song is one thing. But Struggle has too much talent, and the songs of Waylon are too important, and the subject of country rap too polarizing to make an entire album without the originator of the material being present to voice his pleasure or dissent. I Am Struggle leads country music down a very slippery slope where the catalogs of other country music greats could be opened and re-interpreted by country rappers or for other commercial purposes, forever soiling or superseding the original versions, and eroding their legacy.
June 4, 2013 @ 8:38 am
The Outlaw Shit song starts out real strong. Kind of fizzles at the end. Well chose sample and the loops work really well. Has an old school Goodie Mob feel to it.
June 4, 2013 @ 11:45 am
“has an old school Goodie Mob feel to it.”
Not even a little bit. This is terrible.
February 10, 2017 @ 10:58 am
June 4, 2013 @ 9:07 am
How’s about the whole “jennings” clan (the youngsters) just goes ahead and shuts the fuck up? They contribute nothing worthwhile to the genre.
June 4, 2013 @ 9:46 am
I don’t think this kid is trying to contribute to “the genre”….
June 4, 2013 @ 6:28 pm
June 5, 2013 @ 6:54 am
Shooter can take his contribution back. Our genre would be better without him.
June 6, 2013 @ 7:32 am
There are regular contributers to this site that take music far too seriously. At the end of they day it’s entertainment, nothing more. If you enjoy something, great. If you don’t, that’s great too. It doesn’t mean the music you don’t enjoy, shouldn’t be made.
June 6, 2013 @ 8:34 am
I would agree with you to a point Northern Rebel. But when it comes to re-making the songs of a dead man, there are serious ethics questions that arise, and ones that go way beyond matters of taste. And this isn’t necessarily just about country being made into hip-hop. I may be wrong, but taking a dead guy’s songs and making a whole rap album out of them is pretty unprecedented. Frankly, as disgusted as I am at this album, it disgusts and frankly scares me more that the outrage isn’t as widespread as it is. Why not do this with Hank Williams songs, and George Jones songs. I’m sure those projects are coming.
June 6, 2013 @ 9:29 am
Thanks Trigger – 3 points:
1. wrt struggle: I understand your concerns, but in this case I would defer to shooter and jessie. Waylon is their
father/husband, if they are ok with it, that is good enough for me.
2. wrt country rap: it is not a threat to country music or anything else. The only threat to the kind of music discussed
on this site is poor quality songs and singers. Jamey Johnson sang on a colt ford song”¦”¦good enough for me. If
you enjoy it listen, if you don’t, don’t listen.
3. wrt shooter: personal issues aside, he has made some quality music (imo). Again, he is no threat to anything.
You should listen to his radio show, he shares all kinds of new music to new audiences.
June 6, 2013 @ 9:51 am
But still, aside from Shooter, aside from country rap, aside from anybody’s opinions about music, or personalities, or anything else, I still think it is a deep ethical issue facing the broader music world whether it is right to take a dead man’s songs and to remake them in someone else’s expression. Shooter can play all the great music on his radio show that he wants, and we can go back and forth about the viability or appeal of country rap, but that is all completely irrelevant to this fundamental ethical issue.
And by the way, I think it is great that Shooter is playing deserving bands on his radio show, and I give him nothing but props and respect for doing that. However, I am getting a little jaded that this contribution is constantly being brought up as penance for other slights to the music world. It’s great that he’s supporting good music, but that doesn’t give him Carte Blanche to then turn around and do whatever harm he so chooses. Again, don’t want to turn this into a Shooter bashing exercise because really this is about Struggle. But to excuse certain things because he plays some music on a radio show seems a little misguided.
October 30, 2013 @ 10:11 pm
Despite what you might want to believe shooter Jennings is doing exactly what his father did doing his music his way
May 3, 2014 @ 2:47 pm
Idk what’s wrong with it I’ve heard him and being a previous user myself the guy has a decent message he’s just tryin to tell people not to go down the road that he went down and he is in the Jennings family he ran it by jessi first and she said ok so what’s the big deal like rebel said if you like something you like it just because you don’t doesn’t mean you need to bash on it
February 14, 2020 @ 10:59 am
They said the same thing about his dad. At least have respect for the man’s son. and his grand son. Just because of the blood line. I can’t stand that rap crap but it’s the blood line that keeps me playing it.
August 24, 2014 @ 8:55 am
That’s just it, Burly Dent ~~ It’s not the “Jennings” clan at all. Struggle is the son of Jennifer Eddy (daughter of Jessi Colter and Duane Eddy.) He is the grandson of Jessi Colter and Duane Eddy. He is Waylon’s STEP-Grandson. Struggle could not do anything relative to Waylon’s music without the express consent of Shooter Jennings. Remember that!!!!!
June 27, 2017 @ 10:07 am
Step family has nothing to do with it. The Jennings family took struggle in as one of their own. Your opinion on family is screwed up worse than anything he can do with Waylon’s music.
May 25, 2019 @ 2:43 pm
What does Waylons other 5 kids have to say about their fathers music being used??.I realised in my searching, that Struggles mother is not listed on any sites I saw, as being listed as a child or step child to Waylon..?
February 11, 2018 @ 1:15 pm
I agree, I wish his grandson had enough talent without borrowing from other people genre.
July 23, 2019 @ 2:32 am
Like Struggle says you new Waylon songs he new the Man and what’s with labels cuntry rap rap artists sampling is so common look at buddy holly they wanted to call it country he wanted to play music he played at the apollo with all black audience they loved it first white to do so what would you label his music i love Waylon Jennings Struggle sampled were gonna ride it’s just great oh Tim McraW done a song with Nelly is he a country rapper? You people in the trenches feeling that and shooter’s doing what he wants haven’t you heard white lines
June 4, 2013 @ 10:31 am
“One thing we cannot assume is that Struggle has nothing less but undying respect for Waylon and his music.”
I read this sentence to mean that we can’t assume that he HAS respect for Waylon and his music, which doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the paragraph. Are you trying to say instead that we can’t assume that he does NOT HAVE respect for Waylon and his music?
June 4, 2013 @ 10:47 am
I’d think it’s safe to say based on the context of the paragraph that Trig meant to write “One thing we CAN assume…”
June 4, 2013 @ 11:36 am
Sorry, obviously that was a typo. Fixed.
TX Music Jim
June 4, 2013 @ 10:53 am
As much as I personally have nothing but disdain for this project. The estate backed it for whatever reason so it is what it is. Nothing will ever tarnish for me waht Waylons music has meant and continues to mean to me. If only we could all go back to a time when rap “music” and it’s intersection with country music did not exist. However, as reality dictates that will never happen.
June 4, 2013 @ 11:01 am
Have any of yall been to this Waylon Fest in Texas? I was checking out the upcoming tour dates for Erick Strickland & they’re playing at it sometime this summer
June 4, 2013 @ 11:12 am
yeah we are playing waylonfest in whiteface texas on june 7th
The Hillbilly Muslim
June 6, 2013 @ 3:31 am
ya i been having my eyes on waylon fest especially to check out Eric Strickland but unfortunately one of my army buddies is getting married that day. darn
June 4, 2013 @ 12:39 pm
First off, let’s clarify that Struggle has no blood relation to Waylon. His mother is Jessi Coulter’s daughter from a previous marriage to Duane Eddy. Duane Eddy is Struggle’s true grandfather. So I’m not exactly sure why he is being bestowed such latitude and gifts from the Waylon estate. I’m not trying to put words in anyone’s mouth, but Waylon said about Garth Brooks, “He did to country music what pantyhose did to finger ****ing.” So is it really that hard to surmise what Waylon’s opinions would be about country rap?
This project may not erode your feelings on Waylon’s music, and it certainly won’t erode mine. In fact it probably makes me value it even more. And sure, maybe it was inevitable that country rap would have its phase. But look at how rap’s phase with rock is looked upon now. Limp Bizkit is a punch line, and so will this be. The problem is, is that punchline will have Waylon’s name attached to it.
Furthermore, just last night on “The Voice,” the most-watched show on TV right now, they called “Wagon Wheel” a song by Darius Rucker. It doesn’t take long for history to be revised in pop culture. Will “Are You Ready For The Country” eventually be known as a Struggle song? I don’t know, but I sure as hell don’t want to find out.
…and I’m not picking on you Jim, just wanted to get those points out.
June 4, 2013 @ 1:11 pm
“Furthermore, just last night on “The Voice,” the most-watched show on TV right now, they called “Wagon Wheel” a song by Darius Rucker.”
This side effect of the never ending hype machine is what gets me the most. I hate it when people I know cite a song but don’t know when it’s a cover. That’s not to say covers (which are an altogether different beast from sampling) are in any way bad, they just don’t give credit where it’s due unless you’re reading songwriting credits. My girlfriends brother loves modern rock and is especially fond of Five Finger Death Punch. They covered “Bad Company” by Bad Company and he almost got into a debate with me when I mentioned that it wasn’t the original version. It’s also a rights issue. To cover a song, one must (legally) ask for permission. Since his version of “Wagon Wheel” is so successful, one assumes that Darius Rucker (or someone representing him) asked Old Crow Medicine Show if he could record the song. Once he completed his version, he retains part of the rights, which assure him and his representatives that they will receive the profits from their version. To play the song on the voice, the representatives probably asked Darius Rucker, not O.C.M.S., depending on whether they played his version or the original. Given that Rucker’s version is currently a hit, I don’t have to see the show to assume that they played his (and likewise cited him as the originating artist, regardless of whether his arrangement is at all different from the original or not). It also sucks because entertainment-based businesses think that the general public is stupid and lacking in attention span (which is partly true but also their fault for bottlenecking information like this). If they were to say that the song were by Old Crow Medicine Show, there would be a certain degree of viewers that would be confused and a few that would assume that the show “got it wrong.” So, instead of assuming that the public is competent enough to discern the facts for themselves, the businesses (or in this case, the producers of “The Voice”) simply ignore the complete story, only wanting to portray a bit of it. Plus, if they were to have credited Old Crow Medicine Show, a degree of the populace who has no idea who Darius Rucker is would buy the original version, thinking that they’re getting the one they heard on the radio yesterday. I’m sure you know all of this, but it’s no less annoying or convoluted.
June 4, 2013 @ 2:15 pm
was the law changed at some point? i remember reading that the copyright holders only had a say as to who was the first artist to record the song and after that anyone could cover it so long as the copyright holder received all songwriter royalties and thats how people like pat boone could destroy the sales of singles put out by black rock n roll artists in the 50s.
June 4, 2013 @ 8:01 pm
That’s not how I understood it, but maybe you’re right and I’m wrong. No one here is an authority on copyright claims. I also think that copyrights are slightly different based on when they were established (1950’s vs. 2000’s, etc.) and what exactly the copyright concerns. Speaking of rock & roll from the 50’s, I know that Led Zeppelin has been sued for plagiarism of older songs on SEVERAL occasions and have lost at least 10 cases in court.
June 4, 2013 @ 10:48 pm
Not trying to be “that guy”, but isn’t that a Bob Dylan tune?
June 5, 2013 @ 5:55 am
June 5, 2013 @ 12:38 pm
As I recall, the original idea was by Bob Dylan, but Old Crow Medicine Show altered it and recorded the version that Darius Rucker covered.
TX Music Jim
June 4, 2013 @ 1:59 pm
I got zero prblems with any of your points trig. They are all valid.I guess I’ve just gotten so fed up with the whole country rap thing in general nothing suprises me anymore. This disapoints me but that is the way it goes.I just hope that this and things like it eventually become a laughing stock much like Limp Bizcit did. Meanwhile God Bless Waylon not one once of me belives he would be for this but what the hell do I know.
June 4, 2013 @ 7:09 pm
Trig….. are you judging a bit too harshly here??? Maybe you should step back and check yourself man. “No blood relation”… you really want to stand by that stance? The estate ” bestowed such latitude and gifts”?… WHO ARE YOU TO SAY??? Look at the timeline, he is within months old of Waylon’s “blood” son, Waylon Jr. One would think Jessie’s family was just as welcome in their lives as Waylon’s prior children were and still are. Struggle calls him Grandpa and neither Jessie or Shooter have issue with it because there must be no reason to. C’mon man, dont be “that guy” all the time. That is just to shallow (borderline mean) for someone who has no real knowledge of their relationship.
Not defending the music since I have not heard it, just calling it like I see it when it comes to a total outsider to the situation depicting their relationship based on something less than love of a Grandfather and Grandson.
June 4, 2013 @ 8:51 pm
Is saying he’s “no blood relation” a stance, or a fact? Nonetheless, please don’t characterize me as being one discounting the relationship that can form between two people who happen to not be from the same bloodline. I think I went out of my way in this piece to make sure I gave weight to the legitimacy of Waylon and Struggle’s relationship as grandfather and grandson when I said,
“…Struggle was not just some distant relative to Waylon that barely knew him who is now riding his name. Growing up, Struggle would spend summers on Waylon”™s road crew,…”
One of the reasons I did this was to clear up some of the misnomers that Struggle is simply attempting to capitalize off of a man that he never even knew. Before writing this piece, I spent a long time reading anything and everything I could find about Struggle, and specifically about his relationship with Waylon. And so even though you are right, no I don’t know every specific detail of their relationship, I do think that I have enough of a gist of it that I would defend Struggle against anyone who would say that he’s simply trying to ride the name of a man he has no direct relation to, and never knew. I did not here, nor would I ever, question the personal relationship between Struggle and Waylon.
I hope that makes sense.
January 17, 2017 @ 10:45 pm
Jennifer was around 7 years old when her mom and Waylon were married. She lived in his house almost her entire childhood. She was 15 when Struggle was born so Jennifer had a fatherlike relationship with Waylon and her child had and grandchild like relationship. Check out Waylon’s oldest son Terry”s new book. Lots of info.
June 5, 2013 @ 12:46 pm
it freaks me out when people think iconic songs like “wagon Wheel” were written by the guy covering them, when the original is so good, and so well known.. I volunteer at a teen center, and a lot of what I do is sitting around playing guitar, usually I stick with songs by either Cash, Haggard, Hank, some rockabilly, and songs I write, but occasionally I’ll dick around with a non country song for laughs, the other day I played Poisons “every rose has its thorn” (I countried it up a little, but thats not the point)
apparently miley cyrus covered the song, and all the kids were damn sure it was hers, it bothered me, but hey, its not my favorite song, or band..then I played wagon wheel, and it didn’t occur to me until just now, they probably thought it was a Darius Rucker song.
June 5, 2013 @ 12:55 pm
My favorite instance of this fad is when Rihanna covered “I’ve Been Everywhere” and people were getting cussed out on YouTube because they claimed Johnny Cash did it first.
June 5, 2013 @ 12:59 pm
Before anyone corrects me: I just realized the error in my phrasing. I know that Johnny Cash didn’t do it “first,” I was merely trying to illustrate that his version came out before hers (and is probably the most famous).
June 5, 2013 @ 4:32 pm
wow, I didn’t even know she did a version of that song..I don’t want my search history tainted with that, so I’m not gonna look it up..I really don’t mind people doing covers, and I guess its not that easy to tell when its a cover or not on a CD..I just wish people would recognize the artists who wrote the songs (or even the ones who made them famous)
June 4, 2013 @ 11:21 am
Struggles to stay away Old Country Buffet
June 4, 2013 @ 12:53 pm
This is why I have little respect for hip hop or rap as genres of music. Aside from the fact that they are based almost entirely on digital and electronic machinations, “artists” frequently feel the need to sample music from other singers/songwriters for their own means. What EXACTLY does that accomplish? Making an original hip hop/rap song (with electronic beats/autotune or not) is one thing, but taking another song and talking in rhythm over it is another. I had never heard of Struggle before reading this article and have no desire to listen to his music, ESPECIALLY not if he is sampling classic country songs and rapping over them. Say what you will about “Dirt Road Anthem” or “Boys Round Here,” but they were intended as country rap from the very beginning. Obviously Waylon’s music (and all other sampled music for that matter) is NOT intended for “remixing.” I liken “sampling” (or stealing, as I call it) to taking a famous painting and drawing over the original work. Imagine if someone took the Mona Lisa and put a mustache on her and drew dinosaurs fighting aliens in the background. Not only is it not a part of the original work, but the additions bear no resemblance to the intent of the original artist or the final product. Such is the problem with sampling songs for hip hop or rap. I couldn’t care less about the racial/social/political implications of hip hop or rap (or any other music for that matter). I judge music and the artists within purely on musical terms, and crap like this is why I hate hip hop and rap. I guess it takes talent to take music from a completely unrelated genre and turn it into something else, but it’s certainly not “art” and I have absolutely no respect for the practice.
June 4, 2013 @ 2:32 pm
This album might explain why Shooter has been playing a lot of rap on his Sirius radio show.
I’m not a fan of Shooters music, but i can not get enough of his radio show (it really is great), with that said this project strikes me as pathetic…
I’m sitting here staring at your headline saying in my head WTF is everyone thinking, I then checked the date… No it’s not April 1st
I can’t and I won’t listen to this shit.
June 5, 2013 @ 9:52 am
Look, it is my sincere hope that this doesn’t turn into a Shooter thread, because even though Shooter does have a role in this, this is Struggle’s album, and ultimately he is the primary one who needs to answer for it.
However I will say, with this album, Shooter’s song “The Gunslinger,” and your report that he’s been playing a lot of rap on his radio show (I have to take your word for it, because I don’t have satellite radio), it is becoming clear that Shooter Jennings is becoming a fulcrum in the country rap movement.
That’s why when people say that Shooter and I have the same goals and we need to come together for the big win, nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, there may be some artists we both like/promote, but there’s artists that both I and Blake Shelton like. It doesn’t mean we in any way have common goals.
Right now the main flashpoint of the culture war is country rap, and Shooter and I could not be on more opposite sides.
The Hillbilly Muslim
June 6, 2013 @ 3:37 am
I listen to shooter show every week. I never heard a rap song on there. But i do agree with your post and shooter did do a rap limp biscuit type song with his dad in the 90s. I forgot the name they called themselves for the notorious song. It was a rap version of outlaw shit too. I still think shooter kicks ass but think he just supporting his family like any one else would who had a family member trying to make music no matter how shitty it is.
June 6, 2013 @ 9:10 am
I agree – I listen to Shooter’s XM show and I don’t recall hearing any rap, especially country rap. Having said that, I dig some of it and wouldn’t have a problem if he (or anybody else) embraced it. For what it’s worth, Big Smo did a song several years ago that uses a tune you might find familiar… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT_uJrCeg3w
June 4, 2013 @ 2:43 pm
This isn’t country rap, this is just rap with country music samples and some lyrics taken from Waylon. That’d be like calling “Country Grammar” by Nelly a rap-rock song, because it has a sample from Sweet Home Alabama in it. And personally, I think Waylon wouldn’t give a damn about him using it, because he isn’t trying to ride on his name, he’s just making HIS music, just like Waylon was. If you people want to hate on “country-rap”, actually do it right and go shove barbed-wire bats up the asses of “The Lacs”, because that shit is awful.
June 4, 2013 @ 3:03 pm
My theory is that there’s no such thing as country rap. There is country, and then there is hip-hop. From the beginning, hip-hop was based off of borrowing elements from other music and putting them together. Country rap is simply borrowing from country, and as soon as you add hip-hop elements to a song, it ceases to be its original genre, and becomes hip-hop only.
June 6, 2013 @ 9:29 am
If you look over the schedule for CMA Fest going on this weekend, there are performances by Big Smo, Moonshine Bandits, Cowboy Troy, Colt Ford, The Lacs, plus one of the guys from Jawga Boyz is doing his new single with Joe Diffie (yes, that Joe Diffie!). Like it or not, this country-rap thing isn’t going away any time soon.
December 29, 2014 @ 11:56 pm
That being said this wouldn’t be hip hop because it is rap they are two different genres now. There is a whole world out there of country style rappers has been around for a very long time just never made an impression. Every style of music has many many different branches of the genre so why would rap or hip hop be any different.
June 4, 2013 @ 6:33 pm
any info on who put the beats together? discogs,youtube,soundcloud,all the other reviews…nothing.
June 4, 2013 @ 8:38 pm
This shit is really starting to piss me off. Rap is rap. Country is country. You mix them, what do you get? More fucking rap. Doesn’t matter what you’re “sampling”, it’s rap. Quit trying to mix the two.
I cannot stand rap. Never could, never will. Don’t understand the inner city and club shit. I don’t understand the glorification of criminality and misogyny. And I really cannot stand the complete and total absence of any and all instruments besides a drum kit or machine and a turn table.
So now they’re gonna shit all over Waylon? Fuck man.
June 5, 2013 @ 6:48 am
How is that Waylon could be so talented and not pass any of it down to his off spring or their offspring. Next thing you know shooter will be rapping with him. Waylon was the end of the road for the jennings family.
June 5, 2013 @ 9:57 am
Again, don’t really want to turn into a Shooter thread, but Shooter pretty much already is rapping. He appears on this album, and this is what the Charleston City Paper had to say about his son “The Gunslinger”:
“Meanwhile, on “Gunslinger” Jennings spits out taunts like a trash-talking rapper: “Don’t call me an outlaw/ I’m a motherfucking gunslinger/ You want to run your mouth all day long/ You better keep your eye on my motherfucking trigger finger/ Do you feel me, punk / Do you feel me, punk.” “Gunslinger” not only draws from hip-hop, it features a full-on saxophone jam to close the album.”
June 5, 2013 @ 12:41 pm
Shooter is coming out with his own product line of deusch bags. The shooter deusch bag now with struggles sent.
TX Music Jim
June 5, 2013 @ 10:02 am
I can not stand it anymore. I hate with a passion rap music in general. I get this is a free country and if you like it support it. HOWEVER, by God leave rap and country and rock and roll SEPERATE !!! I got it my chest, I feel better, wonderful. Unfortunately, I’m sadly confident that the scourge of crap er I mean rap is here to stay. That realization makes me sick.RIP Waylon you remain for me my ultimate musical hero.
June 5, 2013 @ 12:19 pm
Lord, is it ever going to stop!?
June 5, 2013 @ 1:32 pm
I had to check it out. It STARTS with the grandpa namedrop!
June 5, 2013 @ 2:33 pm
In the wise words of Jason Isbell, “I like rap. I like country music. I like anchovies. I like waffles. I feel like somebody’s always trying to put anchovies on my waffles.”
Crap for Sale
June 5, 2013 @ 6:36 pm
Not really worried about it. I know Struggle, he is a hard working, very talented individual with a ton of respect for his grandfather, who raised him as more of a father figure. Clearly this site hates those who don’t imitate or replicate former country sounds (i.e. retro, thrift store shopping etc). Have fun with this! Shooter and Struggle are just fine in my book, but then again, I’m kinda looking forward in music and not backwards… But making a statement as in Saving Country Music is pretty self-absorbed anyways. If it were a team of writers and people who really had inside knowledge and education that would be one thing, but one bitter hater is really not anything to write home about. Especially when you give foreign poorly written bluegrass and become obsessed with it, but give progressive, individual, interesting offerings a shitty review just because they don’t bow down to you. Rofl. Wahoo!
June 5, 2013 @ 9:26 pm
Nice! The “country music must evolve” argument. I know it well, but I’m used to it coming from Blake Shelton fans.
“Clearly this site hates those who don”™t imitate or replicate former country sounds (i.e. retro, thrift store shopping etc).’
I’m impressed to hear you know Struggle.
“he is a hard working, very talented individual with a ton of respect for his grandfather.”
“Struggle has talent. He has a lot of talent. One thing we can assume is that Struggle has nothing less but undying respect for Waylon and his music. Struggle was not just some distant relative to Waylon that barely knew him who is now riding his name. Growing up, Struggle would spend summers on Waylon”™s road crew.”
So see, we both see eye to eye about Struggle. Except the whole taking a dead country’s stars songs and turning them into rap. That in my opinion is an abomination, both of the songs, and of Struggle’s talent.
June 6, 2013 @ 12:36 am
“gangster by the grace of god” is this guy for real?
The Hillbilly Muslim
June 6, 2013 @ 3:29 am
ya i been having my eyes on waylon fest especially to check out Eric Strickland but unfortunately one of my army buddies is getting married that day. darn
The Hillbilly Muslim
June 6, 2013 @ 3:40 am
Trigger you know I dont agree with you anti shooter rants. But I do agree with this anti rap music his half brother is putting out. I 100% support your campaign against this dude. This is horrendous abomination. I know Shooter or his mother wont disagree with this cause I know they will support their family 100% but I will 100% disagree with this so called rap crap.
June 6, 2013 @ 1:44 pm
Not sure how I feel about using a dead mans music in context out of what it was meant for.
But I do know for me this just cements how well Waylon’s songs have held up and personally I think using it as a chorus works very well in this context. When listening to this it is unfair to try to compare it to the shit Shelton, Alden, and Bryan are putting out. Only listening to the samples as am not sure I want to pay $ for it; I have not heard anything about tailgates and corn fields, I do NOT believe this is trying to be country rap, I believe he is fitting his stories around Waylons template. And for everyone who chooses to write off Rap because you cannot relate to it good for you, but don’t be blind to the fact that there is now a generation of people who when shuffling there Ipod will go from Waylon to 2pac, to Willie to Snoop. For me Waylon is a legend and his attitude fits great with all of this. It may be Blasphemy to some but the quality of this is high. Nobody knows what envelope Waylon would push if he was still alive, and I can only hope his son and widow would only make choices that would further his legacy.
June 6, 2013 @ 2:08 pm
Some good points there.
The poster “Shocking” above posted the URL to the video.
June 6, 2013 @ 4:39 pm
Just to clarify, Struggle has called this country rap in numerous interviews, and that is why I have described it as such here. I believe he intends it to be country rap, and not some mashup tribute to Waylon or something. I completely agree it is nowhere near the same quality as Aldean or Shelton, and went out of my way to say so in the article. I did not give a rating to this album and this is not a traditional review where I critique the music. I wanted to focus more on the ethical issue of using Waylon’s songs in this context instead of simply saying whether the songs are good or not, or getting into an argument about the viability of country rap in general.
June 6, 2013 @ 8:02 pm
Understood. This article was the first I’ve seen/heard of struggle. I would be curious on your real opinion of the music itself. The more I’ve listened to it my gut feeling is without Waylon there’s not much here.
June 7, 2013 @ 11:35 am
Great article Trig. Glad to see it up
June 8, 2013 @ 9:50 am
I haven’t yet listened to I Am Struggle but I can say that I’m not a big fan of rap but I do enjoy Struggle’s music. I think his music is authentic. I love Waylon’s “Outlaw Shit” and I think Strugg and Yelawolf’s take on it was pretty interesting and wasn’t bad at all. 7 out of 9 tracks using Waylon’s songs seems like overkill, but I reckon I can’t say much since I haven’t listened to it yet. Though it does seem like a little bit of an odd jump to go from strictly-gangsta rap mixtapes like Tryin’ 2 Eat and The Soundtrack to An Indictment to something like what’s been described.
June 8, 2013 @ 10:50 pm
To me, the amount of songs is a huge issue here, and should not be glossed over. One song, or maybe even two or three, okay that’s one thing. But to make an album with a majority of the songs borrowing from Waylon, or really any single artist is complete overkill in my opinion, and puts the artist up for criticism that he can’t stand on his own two feet. In my opinion, Struggle CAN stand on his own two feet, and that’s what makes this album even more of a travesty.
June 9, 2013 @ 9:20 am
I’m listening to it right now and I completely agree with you. It is overkill and some of the music is reminiscent of the stuff Colt Ford “raps” over. You’re absolutely right, Struggle is a talented artist and he very much can stand on his own feet. I’m all for artists branching out but I Am Struggle doesn’t seem very well executed, at least that’s what I’m getting from my first impression of listening to it.
June 8, 2013 @ 9:44 pm
My disclaimer is that I work with Struggle, so there’s my bias.. But then again it’s probably safe to say that you before you heard I Am Struggle you already disliked the combination of Country and Hip Hop music.. So there’s your bias… An I fully accept that.. Some people are into change an some aren’t.. Some are threatened by it an some are saved by it.. Some use “change” to sell something, others have a deep rooted drive to shake things up.. To go against the grain.. To challenge the system and do things their own way, regardless of what anyone thought.. Well I fully respect your concerns, but I hope you can have an open mind and consider what I want to share with you.. After all we’re talking about music here so obviously there’s a major issue of taste.. Everyone hears things differently depending on their experience.. Just because you enjoy Country music, doesn’t mean you like everything that falls under whatever definition of that genre you’re going by.. Same with Rap or any other genre.. Some songs move your spirit and change your life, while others are nails on chalkboard.. But they have different effects on different people.. And where they come from? Well I don’t believe a true artist thinks in terms of having a pre-determined path they want their music to go.. Being limited by the expectations of others is bad enough, but if you start limiting your own creative expression based on some set of rules or guidelines, well I’m not so sure you deserve the title “Artist” (obviously just my personal opinion).. To me, the essence of Art relates to where the inspiration comes from and how it’s expressed.. For the record, Strugg’s album wasn’t like made by computers.. I watched it come together.. I watched Struggle standing in the vocal booth in the same studio that Waylon recorded in, standing literally in his footprints.. I saw him pour his trials and tribulations out over a respectfully created mixture of the sounds that surrounded and inspired Struggle through his life.. I saw the passionate support of Shooter and Waylon’s right-hand man Robbie Turner as they came in to put their mark on the songs.. I watched a group of talented musicians putting everything on the line.. Some with a background in rock, some country, some rap… But all coming together to support this dude in his attempt to tell his story, possibly for the last time, in the only way a true artist knows how.. By sticking to what you know.. An what Strugg knows is how to let music inspire his true voice.. Nothing to do with genres or traditions.. I’ve seen people argue that Waylon wouldn’t have approved of Struggle’s music.. Somehow he’d be upset that mixing Hip Hop and country would be destroying some long-standing, strictly defined, industry approved and culturally protected tradition.. Well though I didn’t know the man, to me those are some of the very principles that Waylon stands for.. Destroying the old way of doing things, breaking with tradition. I wonder when people complain that Struggle is supporting an “intrusion” into country.. Do you remember how the old guard in Nashville get all worked up when Waylon led the his very own intrusion on country music.. At a time when it was all slick hair, dress suits and bolo ties, Waylon grew his hair out, an started rocking all leather everything!! He brought the swagger of the current era, Rock & Roll, into country music and pissed off the establishment. I believe it’s more in the spirit of Waylon to take up for those that are challenging the norm and going against the establishment, and not taking up for those who want to stick to the old way of doing thing and the old rules… I can’t speak for Whey or Josh, or Shooter or Struggle.. But the way I see it, being a part of this particular musical legacy isn’t just about making kick-ass music (or Country music at that).. That would be intimidating enough.. But Waylon’s power runs much deeper than his music.. His legacy is that of a true Artist who never bent or swayed when it came to speaking his mind and expressing himself.. A revolutionary.. A leader.. A man of true conviction and character.. Someone who shared his struggle’s with people in a way that touched them for generations to come.. Like any great legacy, these boys and the folks that follow in their footsteps have the responsibility to live up that calling.. An far as I can tell they’re doing a damn good job!! You can hold onto the past unflinchingly, but eventually it’s gone an you’re gone right along with it.. It would be pretty scary to consider future generations thinking of Taylor Swift, and not Waylon Jennings, as representative of the culture of Country music.. But I’m gonna tell you bubba, if you haven’t noticed, the kids are listening to Taylor Swift.. The kids.. You’re not gonna be around forever.. So if you’re really interested in lending a hand in “saving country music”… Well you better come up with a better way of sharing the heart of this constantly growing and evolving culture and music that we call Country with the kids. You gotta find a way to meet them and talk to them in their language.. An I believe, %100 percent, that this is Struggle’s true role.. Obviously you’re not gonna listen to the album again with virgin ears.. You’re not gonna suddenly connect to Strugg’s music an be won over.. An that’s fine.. You just aren’t into it.. So as for your “review”.. Well I don’t see an unbiased analysis of an album.. All I see is your opinion.. An you know what they say about those…
June 8, 2013 @ 11:29 pm
“Some people are into change an some aren”™t.. Some are threatened by it an some are saved by it.”
This is an ignorant, indolent, ill-informed, and ridiculous assertion that is perpetually made by people who attempt to simplify the argument against who they perceive as “traditionalists” scared of change who just want the music to sound like it has always sounded. You can search the 2,500+ articles on this website and you will find NO time where I have said I do not want the music to change or evolve, or where I implied such. It is a preconceived argument to a position that doesn’t exist. Instead what you will find are multiple instances where this site has gone out of its way to explain that music MUST evolve, and specifically championing the cause of artists attempting to evolve country in a creative way. You, Blake Shelton, Struggle, and whoever else can make this argument over and over, but you’re tilting at windmills. The fight against the intrusion of country rap has to do with many more things than simply knee jerk traditionalism never wanting the music to change.
“But Waylon”™s power runs much deeper than his music.. His legacy is that of a true Artist who never bent or swayed when it came to speaking his mind and expressing himself.. A revolutionary.. A leader.”
First off, I appreciate your history lesson, but I don’t need to be preached to about the legacy of Waylon Jennings. Though I’d still always defer to his family, I have been fighting Waylon’s fight now for 6 years for an average of 50 hours a week, and I fully know what Waylon tried to accomplish. One of the main things he accomplished was winning control of his music, so someone couldn’t come in after he was done cutting a track and do with it what they saw fit.
Furthermore, Waylon was an originator of music, Struggle is taking that originator’s work, and regurgitating it. Comparing Struggle to Waylon is laughable, though I have gone out of my way, in the review and in subsequent comments, to say that I believe Struggle has true talent. And that’s one of the travesties here, because now Struggle is going to be typecast with some folks as a simple hack ruining Waylon’s songs, when what he could have done was stand on his own two feet, just like Waylon did.
And I don’t give a fuck what the kids like. It is the job of people like me to educate those kinds, and help them understand that good music made by good people can be more fulfilling and change their lives. Saying that the kids like something and so that is the direction music should go is the mother of all deplorable and misguided notions.The fact that kids like shitty music is the reason we MUST fight for music education, and let people know that they have an alternative.
Look, I fully know that in 20 years, every single Waylon Jennings song, every single Hank Williams song, and every Willie Nelson song will probably be made into rap songs. And who knows, it may be Struggle and Shooter at the helm. It might be a losing battle, but I don’t give a fuck, I will fight tooth and nail to preserve the legacy of these great artists like Waylon Jennings, even if it means conflict with people who carry his own blood. Will I lose? Maybe, but I’ll go down trying, with my middle finger raised in the air, and at least people will know there was dissent about what transpired, and that a small, but fervent group of people still believed in the purity of original expression, untarnished by the short-sighted and opportunistic goals of people looking for short cuts.
But if you really want to know my opinion, I believe in 5 years or less, we will be looking back and laughing at this ridiculous, vomitous country rap craze now no different than rock and roll now looks at Korn and Limp Bizkit. Country rap already has one foot in the grave, it’s just its perpetrators are too obsessed with what the “kids” want to see the big picture. Country rap is the parachute pants of our generation. It is a punch line in the making. It will die an ugly, ugly death, and so will the artists that perpetuate it. Mark my words.
February 6, 2019 @ 9:45 pm
I have younger friends that listen to Rap music,they never heard of Waylon my all time favorite ever…I was so excited to hear Struggle Jennings and could hardly believe it,I could finally share music that they loved with music I love….I hardly doubt Waylon would be up-set, no it is genius and I can picture him with a huge smile.Im absolutely sure he was a mentor to this young man and a heck of a grandpa…So if His wife Jessi gave her support then we have to believe that she did what Waylon would have wanted…A real story of love and family…Don’t let anyone make you feel any different.I consider myself one of Waylon’s biggest fans and I’m incredibly happy to hear Waylon’s sound in this young mans songs.Although I haven’t heard Rap that I love,I knew I liked it and I love the sound of Country and Rap even more now.So a big shout out to Struggle I found you today and I’m excited to listen to it all..I’m hating all the Judgements from people,calm down,get with the times…I’m pushing 60 soon and it pains me not to know Rap with my younger friends I see how much young people enjoy Rap and now I can enjoy it too………..Wait till they hear this,they to will know who Waylon is and he will be respected still from us old folks and now by a new generation….Awesome work….
November 6, 2019 @ 12:36 pm
Huge kudos and very well said! I was trying to say and point out many of the same points that youve hit on in your comment when i left my comment. Im just not as well-spoken as you. Glad to see that there are others out there who truly appreciate music for the art that it is.
June 25, 2013 @ 1:02 am
I may be the oddball here, but I think both Trigger and Struggle’s rep as well as almost everyone who’s commented on here so far have made good arguments and valid points. I love traditional country and the “outlaw” country movement in particular. I generally can’t stand rap, for a lot of the same reasons as I can’t stand the “fake country boy” kinda music that’s been popular on country radio in recent years. Popular rap generally carries on with the same fake crap just packaged in a different way. I don’t believe for a second that every rapper is out every day slappin’ some big booty hoe’s a*s and gettin “crunk” and then runnin from the cops anymore than I believe every “good ole boy” with decent looks and endless pockets just got outta college and now he’s “chillin” by the bon fire scoopin out hay for some “hunnies” to lay down in their daisy dukes in for some “awe shucks” mid 20s “cowboy” to break out the keg and get lucky. Neither of those are real and I think most people see right through it, but for some reason those same people don’t seem to care that its all fake and they just wanna party. Anyways my point is Waylon’s music was real and he lived it. I’ve listened to Struggles and his seems real and you can tell he feels it. This is coming from a guy who personally detests most rap. I couldn’t stand that new song with whatever that guy is from the Jawga boys or whatever the heck they’re called and Joe Diffee. That was awful and shameful. Struggle on the other hand sounds like he’s really lived this stuff. Real music is real music. Granted he did rely ALOT on Waylon’s music to market this and I think they did overdo it having 7/9 songs being rapped around Waylon tracks. Waylon basically does over half of the album and I’m sure not nearly as many people would have heard it had it not been for who he’s related to and partially because of the controversy surrounding Waylon’s music being posthumously used like this. But honestly it’s no worse than any other new up and coming artists having big name people they either are related to or have some connection to singing a few tracks with them or promoting them. If that’s what it takes to get attention to be paid to a true artist like this then so be it. The real test will be his next album and the ones after it. Now that his name is out there and he’s got some attention lets see what else he has to offer. I think it’ll be good. Maybe not suitable for the country genre, but I think he’s got alot of real experiences to put out there on his own once he gets the chance. You probably have to consider too that this guy knew he was going to jail for an extended period of time and may not have had time to put together a whole album of purely solo stuff and maybe this was just a cool idea he had that he wanted to try and was able to pull off better with the limited time he had before he was locked up. As far as Shooter goes I love him. I’ve been to about 16 of his shows over the past decade. I haven’t loved every single song he’s had out or every single thing he’s tried. Some of its worked and sounded great and other things I’ve wondered what he was thinking, but overall he is tremendously talented and WAY better than the crap that’s on radio and CMT these days. I love when he sings his dads style of music, but I’ve been surprised how much other stuff he’s done that was miles away from anything Waylon ever did that I’ve ended up loving too. He did kinda rap in “This Ol Wheel” and “The Gunslinger” and they’re not my favorite tracks he’s done but they’re worth listening to and if it takes a song like “The Gunslinger” to further his music and get the word out about it, it’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s a little vulgar, but it brings in a whole new set of listeners that will probably come to love alot of his more country stuff as well. In closing I guess my point is Struggle deserves a chance to do things his way as much as anybody else does and just like Trigger was saying he is very talented. I don’t know that he’ll make it in mainstream rap and I pray to God there’s not much more room in the country genre for rap style music, but he’s got talent and I think he deserves to be heard and he’s got a place in music somewhere. It’s just gonna be up to him to blaze the trail and pave his own way without so much help next time. The best track on the album is with Shooter by the way. “Another Place and Another Time” is a great collaboration. They sound good together! Jessi and her daughter Jennifer sound awesome in the parts they sing on “Mama” too. “Give Me My Flowers” is very real sounding too. I don’t really like the female singer on the track that much though. I would love to hear more of Struggle’s full original songs that don’t lean as much on Waylon’s tracks next time. I gurantee he’s got “Thing’s to say in his own way” as “Nashville Rebel” by Waylon says!
July 11, 2013 @ 7:52 pm
If you do any research on Struggle or even listen to his album he has mad respect for his grandfather. Everyone is just butthurt he is crossing a boundary and introducing Jennings music to a new crowd.
January 10, 2019 @ 4:24 pm
Not his grandfather obviously
October 3, 2013 @ 12:38 am
I’ve been listening to Struggle’s work for the last few weeks and, as Trigger notes, the man has some considerable lyrical talent and has surrounded himself with some wise production components. I don’t see this music as being some sort of country/hip-hop hybrid in any way, shape, or manner. The samples are incidental to the decidedly hip-hop identity of the music, and as hip-hop music goes, some of it is very, very good. IMO, the Waylon samples (being incidental) are also authentic because Will Harness is writing and rapping about his life-experiences, and Waylon was most assuredly a significant part of that life experience. I like a lot of vintage country-rock music (the REAL stuff, rootsy and generally self-written) and I like only a few rap and hip-hop artists … if they manage to display particularly incisive lyrical prowess of depth and character, along with grooves that serve the poetry, instead of the other way around. Struggle is one of those few, IMO. That being said, his talent needs to be further cultivated and developed to its full potential (which could indeed be huge). Is he even out of jail? Good luck to him, if so. People who can’t abide hip-hop are understandably never going to dig this music, just as people who can’t stand country music will say the same in that genre’s regard. As for the issue of nepotism and family name-dropping, I have to say again that I felt Struggle’s use of Waylon-samples, etc. was more incidental to his mission, but authentic nevertheless. Shooter Jennings has milked the family legacy and “outlaw” image in ways I think are far more blatant than this family member, and I’m not sure Shooter has the same level of lyrical talent that Struggle has got (though I’d attend a Shooter concert sooner than I’d attend a Struggle show, for a number of reasons I won’t delineate here). When it comes to the family estate assisting Struggle, I hate to break it to y’all but I don’t think Shooter’s stuff has been exactly financed by major labels for awhile. Mom’s helping a lot, I’d say (along with Dad, may he rest in peace). Why not? That family has always stuck together against tough odds. BTW, for my money, and as much as I enjoy Waylon’s body of work, the most genuinely gifted member of that entire clan was Jessi Colter, who, when at the very top of her country-rock game for a brief-but-shining few years in the mid-1970s, could write and sing circles around them all. Not enough people remember that, especially once she chucked it to the side to be Wifey and Mommy. Word.
October 17, 2013 @ 5:34 pm
Before I listened to Struggles version of Outlaw Shit(first time was last night) I had never even heard of the name Waylon Jennings, There were exactly 2 country songs I can say I enjoyed listening to and I couldn’t even tell you the name of it or the artists at this point(the fiddle battle with the devil song and a Country boy will survive) I come from a rap/hip hop background. I like sampling but i ALWAYS listen to the originals no matter where it came from, because just like last night I’ve been opened to all kinds of new sound and artists that way. Needless to say I spent the rest of last night listening to Waylon Jennings version. Went to work today and researched Waylon literally all day(we are in our slow season) Thats how I found this site. Thats when i stumbled upon what I would consider is the Golden Age of country..the 70’s “outlaw country”. It still blows my mind that this is considered in the same genre as what is labeled as country now. (They didn’t sing about tractors)
My point is this: Country gained a new 31 year old fan today. A classic song by a legendary artist was sampled by a rapper,and by that and that alone the genre has gained another paying customer. This is the upside to sampled tracks that no one ever seems to get or mention. They open genres/artist up to new fans that would have otherwise probably never been introduced too it.
November 10, 2013 @ 11:24 pm
I grew up listening to Willie, Waylon, and Hank Williams Sr and Jr due to my grandpa. I just heard the Struggle Jennings song and loved it. It mixes different styles yet gives me a nostalgic view. Its music and being as Waylon was as real of a modern day outlaw as he was I find it fitting and would not think he would care that it was used, but instead encourage it. You turn more people onto something that they may have never known existed. So hate all you want but we are integrated like it or not.
March 14, 2014 @ 8:57 pm
I’m from CA and mainly a Hip Hop fan. I’m new to Country music and thanks to Yelawolf & Outlaw Shit, I have discovered Struggle and thanks to that, I have discovered Waylon and thanks to that, I have kept digging and appreciating it all even more .. The fact that there’s some relationship and the Family is behind it, should really just put the “capitalizing” doubts to rest .. I try to put myself in those shoes — if my Grandpa, who I spent so much time around was a musician, I would be HONORED to have an opportunity to Cover or Re-interpolate that music — lacing it with my own culture and experiences .. Struggle is from that Rap culture and I personally really enjoy the Music .. And then to tie it together with the Messages being pushed now via Social Media and just the Music itself — yes you can fixate on some of the vulgarities, but if you take a step above it, you can see there’s stories, growth and lots of self awareness here .. The music and the story is really touching people and actually hitting folks from all over — in the end — elevating and growing the audience for Waylon and Country Music in general
James Hahn II
May 17, 2014 @ 2:27 pm
I just heard about this album yesterday from a friend yesterday.
Today I listen mostly to Flatt and Scruggs, Waylon, Willie, Johnny Cash, and other bluegrass and *real country* I was raised on. But I spent a period of about 15 years living and breathing hip-hop culture. Even spent 10 years as a DJ and did my thing around Detroit for a short time.
This article nails it in that here we have one of the greatest country music legends of all time having his legacy bastardized to create rap music. However, it is very wrong in that it says Struggle is talented.
This is not good music. Struggle has very little talent. What he has is a step-Grandpa who is a legend, and he’s gonna ride that gravy train as far as he can. In other words, he’s just like every other bad white rapper out there but with better connections.
That said, it did get a friend who I’ve never known to listen to anything but rap and metal to start listening to Waylon Jennings. So if nothing else, Struggle’s music is getting some real hip-hop fans to check out his Grandpa’s music. And in 10 years, that’s the only thing he’ll have done for music.
If people remember him at all, they’ll only remember him as a bad white rapper who turned them onto the music of a legend. But when it comes to Struggle’s own music, he’ll go down in history with people like Kwame and his polka dots.
So I wouldn’t worry about Waylon’s legacy being tarnished. Several years from now, people who probably would not have otherwise will be listening to “Good Hearted Woman”, pause, remember, and laugh about how they discovered Waylon Jennings. Then the chorus will kick in, they’ll start singing along, and life will move on. With plenty of love and respect for a legend, and a slight chuckle about his grandson every now and again.
January 2, 2015 @ 8:47 am
For anyone interested here is the history of shooter and struggle. He may not have been blood but he was still a Jennings.
January 11, 2015 @ 4:56 am
It’s weird he’s copping to Waylon’s heritage when he’s Duane Eddy’s grandson. Duane Eddy is a fucking genius guitar player, and legend, and a fucking hell of a nice guy.
Waylon Jennings is a legend as well, but he’s from the outlaw generation that Duane preceded. Truth be told, as a rapper, Eddy’s riffs are way more sample-friendly and just fucking classic. He was the bridge between Chet Atkins and Link Wray. Sophisticated, but with an edge.
I dunno what this dude is thinking, but if Duane was my grandpap I’d be proud. I wouldn’t pretend that Waylon was my blood, even though Waylon is a true BAD-ASS.
roy w gibson
February 25, 2015 @ 10:21 pm
f@c% all you #freestruggle am down with his shit till i die and my fam was down south folks this is new age
October 6, 2015 @ 12:37 pm
I’m a little late to this party, but I just wanted to add a little something to make even y’all who may be angry at struggle or anybody else for doing this album. I have been a strict rap and hip hop fan my whole life, until yelawolf love story came out, that put me on to getting all of his mixtapes. Where on one of those I heard outlaw shit, song changed things for me. I downloaded I am struggle, loved it. The melodies, vocals from Waylon as well. It has turned me into a fan of classic/outlaw country music. I just want to tell you guys that you may hate struggle for doing this album, but there has to be more than just me that has heard this and became a fan of all of these older classical people’s music. It’s making at least me, a fan of everything before it that influenced it. Thank you
October 20, 2015 @ 8:31 am
I dont think Stuggle has disrected Waylon by no means,i think Waylon wouldnt mined at all,im 54 yrs old and like what Struggle does,and i like his music ! Like Hank says in one of his songs,WHY DONT YOU LEAVE THEM BOYZ ALONE AND LET THEM SING THEIR SONGS !
December 20, 2015 @ 8:20 pm
Until, ” Outlaw Shit” – Struggle/ Yelawolf . . I had never even actually heard ” Outlaw Shut “- Waylon Jennins.. If ” Struggle/ Yelawolf ” had not released, I might not have ever took the time to listen to it. The message I took away from it.. was powerful. For whatever respectable reason ” Outlaw Shit ” was wrote, Its a new generation, and talent. Is talent. And I feel like much respect was put into making it. Its real life for some of us out there. The Struggle is real.
November 11, 2016 @ 5:25 pm
Struggle is good he speaks of real shit he went through and from the heart never heard a bad song from him i did time i can relate
June 5, 2017 @ 4:45 pm
I respect struggle and his music. Maybe the guy cant sing and knows that so he doesnt try to sing. He can rap so thats what he does. Its not about how the words are presented. Its the words themselves and he has a lot of deep meaning in his songs regardless of a few vulgar outbursts. I thing Waylon would be proud of what he is doing. From the songs ive heard he stands for what he believes in and stays true to is way of life. And as far as shooter goes im sure he is proud too. Seeing as how hes recorded songs with his such as world thats moved on.
May 14, 2018 @ 4:18 pm
Doing WAYLON in rap and making money from it is DISRESPECFUL! GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE! WAYLON’S beat is WAYLON’S. Don’t be fucking with it! EVER! End of story. Get your own songs and rap to them. This guy is disgusting for doing that. GRRRRRRRRRR.
June 16, 2018 @ 6:29 pm
I honestly think his so called grand father Waylon Jennings would BE ROLLING OVER AN OVER IN HIS GRAVE BECAUSE OF THAT OF THAT FUCKED UP SONG U CAN’T TURN OLD COUNTRY INTO RAP WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE 💩💩💩💩👹😠😠😠😠
June 16, 2018 @ 6:39 pm
Why happened to classic country rappers doing the rapping and not trying to rap classic country with your own genre?
Lying ass fuck
January 10, 2019 @ 4:24 pm
Damn I’m glad I didn’t call my step grandpa this Bs. My grandfather I never knew but still wouldn’t call anyone else grandpa. Especially if we didn’t share blood. Damn sure wouldn’t lie to my fans either
February 6, 2019 @ 10:07 pm
You never knew your grandfather so you have nothing to compare to….I have step- grandkids that are everybit as much mine blood or not…you need to get in your lane and not call some one a liar…Waylon took care and mentored this young man and for you to say this is more of a disgrace to society than any of Struggles songs could ever be….SMH
November 6, 2019 @ 12:25 pm
First of all…being a musician, i can appreciate and respect music in all forms and genres. Whatever name or classification a song may have shouldnt matter.
Now, those hating on Struggle and his use of Waylon Jenning’s music and name to establish himself in the industry. Stop. Open your mind and instead of just assuming these things, imagine yourself in his shoes-as a kid growing up around waylon jennings, the obvious imprint that was left by waylon in Struggles life. So many people are so quick to criticize and assume the worst…and I wonder how many of the naysayers have really stopped, and REALLY listened to any of Struggles work. And dare i ask, how hard would it be to admit that while different, there is a true talent and appreciation of music in Struggle.
Finally, the bullshit comments about Struggle not being blood kin, and whatever he gains from the connection to the Jennings name. My heart bleeds for you. Struggles use of Waylons work, very CLEARLY shows how much influence Waylon had on Struggle, and the use of Waylons incredible work is his way of paying tribute and honoring a man who accepted him-blood or not-and i truly believe that Waylon Jennings, while he may not have been a fan of rap or hip hop, i believe that the Legend himself would have been honored to be featured in Struggles work, and would have accepted and appreciated struggles music for what it is.
Stop judging the man because of his looks, his name, and the way he chooses to express himself. Yall may not like some of the things he talks about, for whatever reason-but one of the things that is so amazing about Struggle Jennings music…is that its real. Real life.
November 20, 2019 @ 2:03 pm
waylon touches on alot of this in an old interview. words are always left to interpretation so some may still only hear what they want to but what i heard from his own mouth was he took a bunch of willies 10 year old tapes without anyones knowledge or permission and sweetened em up or made them more commercial. granted at some point willie got to put a stamp of approval on the redone songs but it speaks plenty as to if he thinks someone has the right to remake someones music and change its sound to be more marketable. he also said he never wanted his music labeled as anything other than waylon jennings music but also agreed he wouldnt change allowing it to be called outlaw music because it worked go to 20:20 for that part of the interview but i would recommend watching the whole thing as it is said to be never before seen only released on youtube as part of a series of never before seen interviews https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5Ljteobwpw
September 10, 2020 @ 2:12 pm
Dude is trash