Saying that a massive pop star has just released a “country” song has become the Rickroll of 2016. Enterprising entertainers looking to troll popular media and the gullible Millenial journalists who enable them have made this an enterprising endeavor for not just a few pop stars this year. In May it was Beyoncé and her fleeting “country” song that even had the Associated Press saying she deserved multiple CMA Awards, setting the table for claims of racism when she was “snubbed.”
It’s bad enough when actual pop stars go country. Now we have to deal with this sort of flinching, shell game where a pop star hints at country “influences” to draw the idiot media offsides and get their new single that extra bit of attention.
So Lady Gaga took a piss at The 5 Spot in east Nashville while her limo idled outside, and then bought a floppy hat from a vintage shop a few weeks ago. Now all of a sudden she’s got country cred in spades. Please. Let me be on record saying this “mod colture” movement in east Nashville is eroding everything cool about the music because it’s making it more about style and image as opposed to substance. Now the hipster cool factor of decrepit turned ultra modern east Nashville is ranging all the way to the top of the pop world.
Too bad when Gaga was talking about her “country” influences she named dropped Garth Brooks of all people, clashing immediate with her newly-minted east Nashville cred. “When I was little, my father used to play ‘I’ve Got Friends in Low Places’ really loud in the basement, and I’d catch him down there dancing by himself, screaming real loud,” says Gaga, implementing rule #2 of the Country Music Interloper Field Guide by citing her long exposure to country.
But then she goes on to say, “I have a general and deep respect for all country musicians, but I myself am not a country musician. I’m just a musician period. I love all different kinds of music and this is just what I wrote.”
And that’s where all of this should have ended. But no, we have to ask, will Gaga’s “Country” song (called “A-YO” of all things) be played on country radio? Will it do well on country radio? Might she appear on one of the country awards shows? May Lady Gaga even perhaps be nominated for a country award, or gulp, maybe even win it? Is Lady Gaga perhaps the greatest country music entertainer of our time, if not in the entire history of country music? And if country music is unwilling and/or unable to acknowledge this glaring truth, is it a bigoted and sexist institution, clearly colluding against one of the greatest entertainers of all time?
Okay perhaps my hyperbole is getting a bit out of hand, but why exactly is this a country song, because she mentions fucking Marlboros? You want to be respected by the country music community? Perhaps put a shirt on, Lady Gaga.
This song is not country. Stop it!