How Country Beat Back Rap in Mainstream Country
For the last dozen years or so, one of the most contentious battles within the realm of commercial country music has centered around the incursion of hip-hop influences into the genre, and specifically the use of verses that are rapped as opposed to sung, and electronic beats replacing organic, human-played drums that are at the heart of what most consider “country music.”
When Jason Aldean released the country rap song “Dirt Road Anthem” in 2011 and it became the most commercially successful song that year, it set the table for the onslaught for what came to be known as Bro-Country, which was an amalgam of country and non-country influences, including hip-hop. Soon, cutting country rap songs or including elements of hip-hop became almost like a requirement for popular country artists, with established performers like Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton releasing country rap songs of their own, and artists that wouldn’t go along quickly being put out to pasture on popular country radio. This was also the period when the gulf between the amount of women and men on country radio became its most pronounced.
Though country rap and Bro-Country were most certainly popular among a specific subset of music listeners, some, if not many of them resided outside of the country genre. Bro-Country appealed more to trendy pop fans that were interlopers to the country genre as opposed to indigenous listeners. Country rap and Bro-Country were extremely polarizing to many actual country fans, which bled over into culture at large. This is when New York-based journalist Jody Rosen coined the term “Bro-Country” to delineate the unique culture that was building around the music that wasn’t exactly country, and not exactly hip-hop.
Even sports commentators and comedians like Bo Burnham lambasted country music’s direction, and lamented what had become of the country genre in general. People who didn’t have a rooting interest in country music, but still appreciated it from afar for its cultural aesthetic and historical context grew to find Bro-Country as awful and offensive to what they knew country music to be.
It was within the rift that country rap created in country music that artists like Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, and eventually, Chris Stapleton started finding traction as listeners searched for alternatives. When Stapleton virtually swept the 2015 CMA Awards and performed a landmark rendition of the old country standard “Tennessee Whiskey” with Justin Timberlake, the fever broke with Bro-Country. It would take another six or seven years for Bro-Country’s reign to come almost completely to a close, and most certainly the last dying gasps of the subgenre can still be heard on country radio today. But it’s a new era in popular country now where the most popular influence is actually country.
“This is my 5th or 6th year being at this awards show, and country sounded more country than it has in a long time, and I think we all wanted that,” Luke Combs said to cap off the 2022 CMA Awards in November as he held the trophy for Entertainer of the Year. It really hit the nail on the head of what’s been happening in country, and where the trends seem to be headed. It not just that an artist like Luke Combs seems like a healthier alternative to the Bro-Country acts that came before him. It’s that the movement seems broad based.
Women like Lainey Wilson, Carly Pearce, and Ashley McBryde are helping to returning female representation to country. Cody Johnson, who came up on the rodeo circuit in Texas, won two CMA Awards in 2022, and later a Grammy Award for his song “‘Til You Can’t.” Jon Pardi and other traditionalists have become a positive force in country that’s hard to deny, while independent songwriters such as Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers continue to show surprising traction on the Country Albums chart, beating out their mainstream counterparts, and acts like the Turnpike Troubadours and Billy Strings are selling out arenas. The resurgence in country isn’t just about more country-sounding songs either. It’s also about songs that say something, and dig deeper than the average country radio single.
But perhaps the most astounding development in country music’s dramatic turnaround has been how country rap artists themselves are in many respects driving this trend towards country, and toward songs of greater substance. Instead of being part of the problem, they’re becoming part of the solution. There aren’t two better examples than two of the fastest-rising names in country music right now, Jelly Roll and Ernest. Both come from country rap backgrounds, and both are not just reversing their country rap ways, they are actively leading the charge toward real country music.
Ernest came up collaborating with Bro-Country stalwarts Florida Georgia Line and cutting country rap songs. But when his song “Flower Shops” hit country radio, it was arguably the most traditional-sounding country radio single released in the last 20+ years. Unfortunately, his label pulled the single after it reached #18 on the airplay charts (#13 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs), even though it appeared to be heading to the Top 10.
When Ernest released his Flower Shops album, the title track was mostly an outlier on a more mainstream-sounding project, though there were a couple other exceptions. However, with the recent deluxe edition of the album Flower Shops (The Album): Two Dozen Roses, it shows what kind of vision Ernest had for the album from the beginning, which was a greater mix of traditional-sounding tracks like “Flower Shops.” Perhaps the label initially saw this direction by Ernest as risky. But with the success that so much of traditional-sounding country music is enjoying at the moment, now they’re ready to double down.
Around the release of the deluxe edition of Flower Shops, Ernest tweeted out, “I feel like I’ve found my calling and it’s NOT to ‘save country music’ … but by god, it’s to make it.”
Perhaps even more astounding is the complete 180 country rapper Jelly Roll is making. “Son of a Sinner” was basically the only song anyone would every construe as “country” from his last album Ballads of the Broken. But after it went #1 on country radio (#8 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs), Jelly Roll has decided he’s basically getting out of the rap game, and diving head first into country.
Though this pronouncement (and his face tattoos) may have some wincing at this prospect, what Jelly Roll is saying about the role hip-hop played in his music, in his life, and where he is now is nothing short of bombshell in regards to the battle between rap and country in the mainstream country genre.
Speaking on Apple Radio recently, Jelly Roll said about his transition to country,
The evolution that’s happened with my music was only a reflection of the evolution that happened as a man. Right? The music just evolved because the man evolved. This was just the music just followed my heart. It followed my spirit. I’m not that kid anymore. I was tearing my community apart and making CDs bragging about it. Ignorantly. In my defense, I didn’t have knowledge that I have now, you know. But there was no glory in that. I started singing more and getting more soulful and more in touch with the kind of music that I knew was important, which was the music that helped people. Like music had helped me whenever I was young. It just kind of followed that way.
Now, I still got hip hop elements in everything I do. I have a hip-hop element on my debut country album that’s coming out this summer and I have a hip-hop feature on it, but it’s still super country record. But my heart is different, man. My heart is to help. It’s not even about rap itself, it’s about the culture that I came from in the streets and just how misguided they are. Just how obstructive of a view we have when we were in that situation. It’s sad. I only see it now, because I’m out of it. You never see it when you’re in it. I only got above, got the 30,000 foot view and seen it. It’s like, “Man, I just want to make music that helps, the music that heals. I just want to try to do things to help the community that I’m from.”
Of course, we can’t expect a former country rapper like Jelly Roll to rise up an “save country music” any more than we can expect Ernest to. As Jelly Roll says himself, hip-hop elements will still creep into his songs, as will rock elements. He also has a rock album on the way, and a collaboration with Brantley Gilbert. But talking about how misguided his early career was, and how he sees himself maturing with country music means he’s going from an artists that was working to push country more into the hip-hop direction to one that is helping to make it more country. This is a radical shift.
What Jelly Roll is saying parallels what many punk rockers were saying in the late ’90s into the early 2000s as they transitioned into country and roots artists as well. As they got into their late 20’s and early 30’s, they started searching for more meaning, and came back to the country music they grew up with, which wasn’t the current pop country of the time, but Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams. Not only has it made a positive difference in country music, it’s made a positive difference in these performers’ lives. Artists like Jesse Daniel who was once a punk musician from Santa Cruz who got clean through country music have attested to this.
All of this is also a symptom of the freedom artists are finally being afforded due to technology opening up the music, and allowing consumers to make their own choices irrespective of major labels and country radio. Jelly Roll also spoke about this to Apple Music.
You know what’s happening now? Artists are allowed to be themselves, and the fans can connect with that. Some guy sitting in an ivory tower on 17th Avenue isn’t making that decision anymore. Right? He doesn’t get to pick. It was almost wrestling for a while. It was almost WWE. Every building had a Vince McMahon that was creating storylines for artists and dressing them different ways. It goes back to my Build-A-Bear theory and now we’re finally in a place where it’s like people are connecting. We have a direct to consumer now. That’s how you can be an independent artist who has a show on Apple Music. This is insanity. But that also shows how far that everything’s came.
Jelly Roll is right. It’s consumers who are choosing now. And what they’re choosing more and more is country over hip-hop in the country genre, and songs that say something as opposed to radio singles. That’s how we saw the meteoric rise of Zach Bryan. That’s how artists like Jelly Roll and Ernest are finding the greatest success of their careers through moving away from hip-hop as opposed to towards it.
In previous years, journalists and critics from outside of the country genre were proclaiming that country music needed to evolve and incorporate hip-hop influences or risk being left behind in the popular music diet. They began pushing artists heavily influenced by hip-hop like Breland and Kidd G as the future of the genre—both of which haven’t developed nearly as successfully as Zach Bryan, Tyler Childers, Bailey Zimmerman who also came up outside of the Music Row system, and Jelly Roll as well. Now, it’s the fans who are beginning to choose who makes it in country music, not labels. And the fans are choosing artists who put the song first and their country roots forward.
This is not to discount the importance of hip-hop in popular music culture, or to say it’s an illegitimate art form. Unquestionably, hip-hop is overwhelmingly the most dominant influence in American music at the moment. But this is all the more reason to keep country music an alternative to hip-hop, with organic instrumentation and that human element that electronic-based music often leaves behind. Incorporating hip-hop into country is not the inclusion of diversity in music, it is the death of diversity in music.
The reason many journalists and critics outside of country music kept lobbying for hip-hop to become a bigger influence in country is because that’s what appealed to them, and because they believed it would be an avenue to make country music more ethnically diverse as well. But with artists like Charley Crockett, Chapel Hart, The War & Treaty who just signed a major label deal with a country label, and other more organic artists rising as well, country music can find the racial diversity it deserves without pretending hip-hop is the only way to make that happen.
Unquestionably, hip-hop beats and cadences continue to find their way into popular country songs, and they probably won’t go away in their entirety anytime soon. But for country music to survive into the future, it can’t follow trends. Country music must make its own trends, delineate itself from the rest of popular music and offer something different, and do it in a way that is true to itself. That is what country is doing right now with the current crop of new artists, even including post hip-hop performers like Ernest and Jelly Roll.
March 6, 2023 @ 12:27 pm
The influence of rap into mainstream country goes all the way back to the 80s. Think of songs like Country Rap by the Bellamy Brothers and others. But the modern influences are still qualitatively different than what existed then. I don’t like that Bellamy Brothers song either, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it’s been more recently.
March 6, 2023 @ 1:37 pm
One thing that has always baffled me is when people say that country music needs to incorporate hip-hop to modernize. On the Grammy Awards last month, they celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the birth of hip-hop. It’s 50 years old. Sure, we all still think about it as a “new” thing because it’s not as old as country, rock, or the blues. But it’s far from new, even in country.
March 6, 2023 @ 12:39 pm
lets hope its going away. for good too
March 6, 2023 @ 1:16 pm
I usually don’t post negative comments, so bear with me.
Now I’m old school and appreciated old rap songs like “The Breaks”, “Rapper’s Delight” and even Dj Jazzy Jeff’s “Summertime” and “Parents Just Dont Understand”. But I will never get Country Rap.
And since that other genre is called Bro Country, shouldn’t we simply call this Co Rap or better yet just CRap for short??
March 6, 2023 @ 1:26 pm
Nice article Trig. I was wondering if you had heard the second side of Earnst’s Flower Shops. I also thought it was full of quality country songs. Even Morgan Wallen’s new album has plenty of straight country songs loaded with live drums and steel guitar. It reminded me of an early Jason Aldean or Luke Bryan release in the 2000s.
Things are in a significantly better place than they were when “This Is How We Roll” was dominating the airwaves.
March 6, 2023 @ 2:24 pm
I’ve wanted to do a review on Ernest’s deluxe edition and I might eventually, but my priority are all the independent releases coming out at the moment. I may circle back around to it eventually.
March 6, 2023 @ 3:02 pm
Figured as much. I imagine it’s tougher to prioritize those sorts of deluxe and EP release when they intrinsically weren’t prioritized by the artists themselves. But I agree, Flower Shops (2 Dozen Roses) was a very quality offering from the mainstream realm.
March 6, 2023 @ 9:32 pm
Yes I agree. I thought the second half of Ernest’s album was even better than the first! And as far as the MW album, yes of course there are songs with beats, but also a lot of good quality country songs. I think this album has more of an overall country sound than the last. Personally, I love traditional country and I’m glad that’s coming back, but I also love when a little hip hop is mixed in and obviously a lot of other people do too and I don’t see anything wrong with that.
March 6, 2023 @ 5:02 pm
Early Aldean isn’t bad at all. He’s just gotten lazy and formulaic with the passing years, kind of like Blake Shelton. But that’s the way it’s always been with country, pop, rock, R&B, you name it. Someone has a monster hit with a different new sound and before you know it everyone is putting out records with the same sound. Eventually the public gets tired, the format slumps at radio, and something new comes along.
March 7, 2023 @ 11:25 am
You could probably make a playlist of 20-25 Aldean songs that 90% of this webiste’s followers would enjoy. Between his early albums and the deep album cuts on his more recent work, there is a lot there. It’s unfortunate that his radio stuff was that bad.
March 6, 2023 @ 1:50 pm
Do you fear we might be seeing a resurgence of country hip hop fusion popularity with the release of Wallen’s new album? With the more pop/hip hop oriented songs being the most popular. And many of them most likely to go on to be singles?
March 6, 2023 @ 4:20 pm
The weird thing about Morgan’s album is that it kinda caters to both a more traditional side and a more hip hop/experimental side
With songs like You Proof, Ain’t That Some, and 180 (Lifestyle) on one end of the spectrum and songs like Devil Don’t Know, Dying Man, and Keith Whitley on the other, I get the feeling it’s trying to be something to everyone and everything to no one.
March 6, 2023 @ 7:51 pm
I’m still in the listening phase with Wallen’s new album. It will be reviewed here eventually. I didn’t really take the album into account at all because like others have said, it’s a bit too omnivorous to nail down as being emblematic of one direction or another.
March 6, 2023 @ 2:10 pm
It’s interesting that you can tell how the tables have turned because it seems like you see this kid Breland at every country award show, as if they’re really trying to promote him as the next big thing but yet hasn’t gained any traction outside of the award shows. I hardly ever hear anything from him
Bearly B & his Big Bluegrassish Country-Rock Band & the All-Girl Vocal Quartette (with Pikardee & Lappith, featuring the Social Distance Dancers, the Courtesy Clap Handclapperers, and introducing Elmer Fudd on Lead Vocals)
March 6, 2023 @ 2:25 pm
Eddie Rabbitt had a song on his 1991 Ten Rounds album called “C-Rap (Country Rap)” and it’s on YouTube. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG_f46-5Ujs
March 6, 2023 @ 3:23 pm
Ha! Good find. Big Eddie Rabbitt fan here and this one had eluded me. Then again I never got to his late career stuff.
March 7, 2023 @ 9:19 pm
That reminds me of the Tracy Byrd/Mark Chesnutt song “A Good Way to Get On My Bad Side”
“There oughta be a law against cowboy rap
And all that boy band crap
A little sissy in a cowboy hat ain’t country”
March 6, 2023 @ 2:40 pm
I’m a bit on the fence with these artists insisting that they want to record country. While anyone can have a change of heart and move into this direction, it is ultimately up to the artist to determine which route they go. If they continue to have rap and rock as part of their repertoire then it makes them less convincing.
I had given up on mainstream country as far back as the mid 90s about the time Shania Twain became huge and Tim and Faith got married. If it wasn’t for artists like Junior Brown or Dale Watson I might have just stuck my head in the sand and shut myself off from anything new and never have grown musically.
Only time will tell if there is a true pendulum swing back to TRUE country. But if some new artists ever play the likes of Asleep at the Wheel or Johnny Cash on Top Country Radio then I’ll be a listener again. Until such time I fully support such movements as Ameripolitan.
March 6, 2023 @ 2:44 pm
I’ve never heard Dirt Road Anthem on purpose (or by accident as far as I can remember), but I’m about to give it a whirl. Pray for me.
Keepin’ it Country
March 6, 2023 @ 2:56 pm
If you’ve avoided it this far, don’t look it up. Your one of the lucky few
March 6, 2023 @ 7:14 pm
It’s awful. They used to play it at this shitty job I had at a sheet metal shop in central PA. George Jones died when I worked there but nobody cared.
March 6, 2023 @ 2:56 pm
I am not a fan of bro-country or country rap, but catch me at the wrong time and I will admit that Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” is a guilty pleasure. You can tell his tongue is firmly planted in his cheek on that one, and the Pistol Annies add just the right amount of sass. But don’t tell anyone I like it…
March 6, 2023 @ 5:15 pm
Steverino: I feel the same way about Toby Keith’s “I Wanna Talk About Me.” It ruffled a few feathers when it came out, but Toby was never going to become a rapper and the whole song is just ridiculous fun, as is the video.
March 6, 2023 @ 7:52 pm
If people would stop taking Toby Keith seriously (not even Toby Keith takes Toby Keith seriously) and just go along for the ride, they’d find out just how much fun that ride could be.
March 19, 2023 @ 12:17 pm
The guy that wrote that is the same guy that wrote He Stopped Loving Her Today.
March 6, 2023 @ 3:19 pm
I’ve never been a fan of the Bro-Country movement, but I’m always willing to listen to new music and love it when I’m pleasantly surprised by new sounds & artists. Based on what little I knew of Jelly Roll and Ernest, I never bothered listening to any of their tunes. But thanks to your article, I just listened to “Son Of A Sinner” and “Flower Shops.” I’m impressed! I’m also really enjoying the current cycle of country artists like Charley Crockett, Ashley McBryde, Zephaniah OHora, etc.. Your articles/reviews have influenced several great additions to my playlist over the past few years. Thanks Trigger.
March 7, 2023 @ 4:56 am
I was just thinking about Zephaniah, and checked his instagram and it seems he’s been touring in a what I can only assume is a Grateful Dead cover band, called Grateful Shred.
March 6, 2023 @ 5:35 pm
Any of your “journalist” friends on Twitter call you the “R” word yet?
March 6, 2023 @ 7:58 pm
No but one recently was such a self-centered hero/victim clinical narcissist, they thought the only possible way I would have ever written a simple news item about the Saving Country Music Artist of the Year playing a traditional bluegrass show at the Ryman Auditorium was by ripping off their coverage. Imagine the hubris of thinking you’re such the center of the universe, it is you who is responsible for letting the world know what happened at the Ryman as opposed to Billy Strings himself who posted images and the set list on social media to go along with the dozens of fan videos. If I ever get to that raging level of narcissism, I hope everyone here tries to cancel me.
March 6, 2023 @ 11:18 pm
Well, she doesn’t call herself the angry feminist of Americana in her bio for nothing…
March 7, 2023 @ 5:12 am
I’m sure you’d remove the comment section long before that
March 6, 2023 @ 5:46 pm
Has anyone been to a country bar lately? Do they still play rap/hip-hop after the two stepping is done. I haven’t been in over 20 years, but I will say if that’s still the case, country music will slide back into despair.
March 6, 2023 @ 6:38 pm
Country rap will never go away. I play in dive bars on the weekend and what the bar patrons play on the jukebox alternates between country, rock, and the most awful trap rap.
March 6, 2023 @ 7:59 pm
Country rap has a very strong subculture that I agree isn’t going anywhere soon. However, I think it has fallen dramatically out of favor in the mainstream of country, and I think it’s hard to deny that.
March 7, 2023 @ 5:09 am
If country music is going to shift back to something more “real” other things have to change. Zach Bryan and Charley Crockett (to a lesser degree) are helping that by putting out imperfect music that is better than something with major studio ‘trickery’ to polish it up for the mainstream.
Imagine discovering Waylon Jennings or Emmylou Harris because of their dumptruck asses.
March 6, 2023 @ 7:33 pm
Here’s a musical fact for all: There is no such thing as “rap music.” What is often called “rap music” does not meet the fundamental definition of “music.” That’s not my opinion; that’s a fact.
March 6, 2023 @ 10:11 pm
Lol OK Ben
March 7, 2023 @ 1:44 pm
So, your familiar with the works of Benjamin Zander? Interesting.
March 7, 2023 @ 3:48 pm
No, I was referring to this fellow:
March 7, 2023 @ 4:18 pm
News flash: Shapiro is correct. The tatted-up creature is wrong.
March 7, 2023 @ 4:53 pm
News flash: It’s completely fine to not like a style of music, but to claim that it doesn’t meet some “fundamental definition” of music is nonsense. What would that definition even be?
To quote a comment on the above video: “So let me get this straight, I’ve been dancing and singing along to short podcasts my entire life”
March 7, 2023 @ 8:38 pm
News flash: It’s completely fine to not like a style of music, but to claim that it doesn’t meet some “fundamental definition” of music is nonsense. What would that definition even be?
To quote a comment on the above video: “So let me get this straight, I’ve been dancing and singing along to short podcasts my entire life”
March 6, 2023 @ 8:31 pm
Rap is crap and has no business mixing with country music.
(Usual suspects, insert your triggered comments below)
March 7, 2023 @ 9:35 am
Slightly disappointing comment coming from you, CountryKnight. Usually, you have some pretty insightful comments.
In my personal experience, most people that hate rap music are in the same boat as people that hate country music – they’ve only heard the garbage on the radio and not the real music that actually good artists are creating. Imagine if your first/only experience with country music was listening to country radio sometime in the last decade? What opinion of the genre would you have formed, do you think?
I’d implore you to try to look past the mainstream in rap, the same as all of us here on this website have had to do with country for quite sometime, I think you may just find the two genres are a lot more similar (in themes, not sound) than some on this site would like to admit.
March 8, 2023 @ 1:00 pm
In the spirit of cooperation, what rap artists do you recommend?
Having spent years on the football field, I have only heard mainstream rap. Which soured my ears.
March 9, 2023 @ 12:10 pm
Much like with country, rap is a much larger and more diverse genre than people on the outside usually realize, so it can be hard to recommend to people without a starting point.
My personal flavor of rap tends to be more east coast, lyrically based rap. Examples:
A Tribe Called Quest
Logic (his first 4 mixtapes anyway)
Pete Rock & CL Smooth
Now, obviously, I’m not demanding, or even expecting you to actually like any of these artists, but my hope is that by listening with an open mind everyone can come to respect artists of all genres and the art they produce.
(Sidenote: I do agree with you about the combo of country and rap though, it’s awful)
March 6, 2023 @ 8:44 pm
Trig I need you to tear apart Wallens new album soon
March 7, 2023 @ 9:07 am
Considering it’s 36 tracks long…we might have to wait for a while.
March 6, 2023 @ 8:46 pm
One thing I know from spending time in small towns is that they like to party to terrible country, terrible rap and bad hard rock. Of course you will always find someone cool. Usually hiding in the garage when the drunk farm boys are in a circle with arms on shoulders belting out whatever terrible song is on. It’s been this way for close to 30 years. It’s kind of funny really because rap really hooked me as a kid because an 808 kick drum just sounds insane and there is a lot of narrative in the rap I like, but the people I know with the big trucks listen to more than me by a mile. The only tape in the CorollaVirus is “Always on My mind”! This is not because of some journalist or label or anything. It’s just what the people consume. For me, I try to find something I like from every genre. I also think it’s great for artists to write whatever they want, but you definitely shouldn’t release most of it. I’m not to concerned about it, if it sells so what. I’m just here playing my own songs and listening Jimmie Rodgers.
March 7, 2023 @ 2:18 am
I have never had a problem with hick-hop, but then again, I’ve never considered it to be country music. I consider it to be rap with some country music influences. I quite like Colt Ford’s “Answer to No One”.
March 7, 2023 @ 5:25 am
Interesting how Jelly Roll’s ‘heart’ followed his ‘spirit’ and ‘evolved’ in parallel from the previous ‘big thing’ to the current ‘next big thing’.
Maybe we can convince him the ‘next, next big thing’ is Contrabass Balalaika music and see if he will scamper off to Russia.
Don't Rap the Jukebox.
March 10, 2023 @ 7:37 am
Thank you. I’m surprised I had to scroll down this far into the comments to see someone say what I was thinking. Musicians like Jelly will go where the money leads them, not their heart.
March 7, 2023 @ 8:12 am
Hip Hop and hip-hop culture is a disease that has infected every form or pop culture from music to television to modern day professional sports. Even Soul and R&B artists that gravitate toward a more traditional Mo Town kind of sound are lumped into a neo soul category and not given any real attention on commercial radio. I will never buy music or listen to a guy named Jelly Roll, but it is refreshing to see him acknowledge the pervasive and negative affect it had on his life.
Country When Country Wasn't Cool
March 7, 2023 @ 8:13 am
They weren’t country artists but “Wham! Rap” is the best hybrid rap song ever. Mic drop. I mean, come on…George freakin’ Michael!”
March 7, 2023 @ 9:19 am
This is kind of a weird argument. Music should just exist and people should consider and consume what they like. Why can’t it all exist at the same time and give people a choice? You didn’t see people getting up walking out of the Grammys when Chris Stapleton performed with Stevie Wonder but Alen Jackson got butt hurt and couldn’t fathom the thought of watching Beyonce performed and walked out. Stop waxing nostalgic about 30,40 and 50 years ago and allow people to perform and do what they love. It ain’t going back so get used to it. Just support what you love.
March 7, 2023 @ 9:45 am
“Music should just exist and people should consider and consume what they like. Why can’t it all exist at the same time and give people a choice?”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with hip-hop music. It should be allowed to exist just like country. And if someone wants to fuse the two genres together, and they do it with heart, skill, and creativity, more power to them. The problem arises when all popular music becomes just one version or another of hip-hop. That is not “giving people a choice.” It is the death of choice and diversity in music. Let country be country. Let hip-hop be hip-hop. And let’s let the diversity of musical expressions remain pure and contribute to a rich tapestry of American culture.
March 7, 2023 @ 10:05 am
Probably the best opinion you’ve ever written Trig. Your reply is a story right there. So many just don’t get it.
March 7, 2023 @ 12:00 pm
Pop and rap mixing with country is very much similar to what Christian music did when trying to adopt to mainstream music trends; The product was something that sounded ‘dated’ and was noticeable worse than the original influence.
Jimmie Allen sounds like the same shit Jason Mraz did 10 years ago. There isn’t any country rap that sounds better than the music put out by rap greats. (Also can we all agree that mumble rap and trap rap is pure dog shit?)
Stapleton somehow managed to take a classic country song and mix it with a simple soul type music sound and make something better.
March 7, 2023 @ 12:34 pm
It’s interesting that out of all the artist you mentioned Jimmy Allen. Why him ?
March 7, 2023 @ 12:50 pm
Because on a post online for CMA Fest 2023 his name was listed at the top with Jason Aldean and I realized I couldn’t name any of his songs. I briefly played 5 or so and I never heard any of them before.
The answer you probably wanted: Because I am racist.
March 7, 2023 @ 12:38 pm
It’s interesting that out of all the artist you mentioned Jimmy Allen. Why him ? Jimmy wasn’t even mentioned in the artical.
March 7, 2023 @ 2:29 pm
Hollywood: I’m puzzled by the comparison of Jimmie to Jason Mraz, which struck me as totally random. Allen is at least trying to sound country most of the time. Mraz is just another sensitive pop singer/songwriter type. He and Breland have much more in common than he and Jimmie, if you’re going to compare white pop singers to black country singers.
March 8, 2023 @ 12:30 pm
The country music genre has been a wasteland since the early 00’s.
[It’s the year 2029 and you hear a commercial on your neurolink brain chip ‘Time Life Country Classic presents “BABY YOU A SONG YOU MAKE ME WANNA ROLL MY WINDOWS DOWN” Enjoy the classic country hits of the Tens”]
whatever happened to Doug Stone
March 8, 2023 @ 6:53 am
hey Strait, I’ll say what Hollyweird wants to hear. Jimmy Allen is a poser who got into country music to have easier access to wh!te g!rls in cut of jeans and cowboy boots.. Now Nashville is pushing him as an artist worth listening to more for his skin color than any real talent. He’s the equivalent of Disney making Tinker Bell black in the new Peter Pan movie. Nothing more than a race swapped token so executives on music row can feel better about themselves while also avoiding a BLM protest on their front lawns. I also know Trigger won’t allow this to be posted, but I wrote it anyways. I don’t care.
March 8, 2023 @ 12:25 pm
Idk why race is trying to be injected here. I realized that I’ve seen Jimmie Allen’s name and he is apparently a ‘top act’ but I knew NONE of his music. And the comparison to Jason Mraz is valid. Both make ‘light’ pop music. The first artists that popped into my head that was similar to Allen was Mraz.
It’s pretty obvious that the country music genre is being exploited by wannabe pop artists.
March 7, 2023 @ 4:41 pm
Who is Alen Jackson?
The other Rusty
March 7, 2023 @ 5:03 pm
Most of us probably don’t care what kind of music others want to listen to. But what we DO object to is folks who try to re-define music genres. Modern “bro-country,” “pop-country,” “country-rap” is most definitely NOT “country” music. How about if I play a John Philip Sousa march and call it a ballad? What if I play the Beer Barrel Polka and call it a waltz? What if I played an old swing tune like In the Mood and called it hip-hop? You would (correctly) say that those tunes had been mis-identified as to their genre. It’s the same thing when folks try to call some of today’s musicians “country” when they aren’t anywhere close to country.
I guess it’s the same as some of today’s folks trying to re-define men as women, etc. You can use different words to describe something, but that doesn’t actually convert it into that alternate description.
March 7, 2023 @ 11:45 am
Listening to country rap is hard but when you see the videos it really sinks in how unnatural and awful it really is. Watching some white trash copper thief bounce around and gesticulate like they are some sort of badass makes me cringe. It might not be so bad if it wasn’t so fake. They should talk about things they actually know like stealing cat converters or selling their Suboxone prescription. At least juggalos are upfront about who they are. Country rappers…not so much
March 7, 2023 @ 12:02 pm
It’s still Faygo soda and a couch that is half paid off til we own it.
March 7, 2023 @ 10:25 pm
Saw Joshua Ray Walker and Vandoliers tonight. Cambridge Ma Middle East club. Wow. Probably close to 200 people. There is so much great quality music now. People are finding it and loving it. But u r always going to have people listening to crap pop or stupid shyt. Country ain’t the only genre that has gone through it. People can like what they want I guess.
March 8, 2023 @ 3:41 am
Radio country aint country. The mainstream artists use to not be. Yall sold out to what the people that are only interested in $ want. Youtube and streaming has been a blessing to country, it has to change with the times just like everyother genre. Nothing wrong with the classics but from the late 90s on artists sold out. Our household supports independent artists and real music. This article and its contents were a waste of time.
March 8, 2023 @ 12:24 pm
There’s no such thing as real country. You’re all as bad as your boomer parents. Hell the country that your boomer parents listened too wasn’t country to their parents or grandparents. Music genres change and grow. Not one of you would say Hank JR. isn’t country but plenty of the generation before him did. It’s pretty ironic to me you’ve turned into your parents.