I told you.
To cite the review of Morgan Wallen’s latest record,
If Morgan Wallen was a young male suitor in pursuit of your sister or daughter, he would be one of those beaus where it is undeniable they are trouble, with not just red flags flying right out in the open, but a rap sheet to back up these presuppositions—yet at the same time they possess an irresistible charisma that almost immediately drops guards, and they know how to say and do the right things at the right times to wiggle out of trouble, and to get one everyone’s good side, despite a pattern of bad behavior.
This is Morgan Wallen’s career and music in a nutshell. He will tell you, “No I swear baby, I won’t do it again. I’ve changed,” and then get arrested outside Kid Rock’s bar on Lower Broad. He’ll then tell you he’s learned his lesson, and is taking a break on social media, only to show up on Tik-Tok making out with random co-eds in Tuscaloosa when he’s supposed to be quarantining for SNL.
Morgan Wallen has charmed the majority of the mainstream country music listening public to the tune of becoming one of the most popular, if not the most popular artist at the moment right up there with Luke Combs, as well as charming many critics who hear some of Morgan’s more heady and sentimental material, and swoon.
But the truth of the matter is, your nose doesn’t lie.
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So now Morgan Wallen has been caught on camera screaming obscenities into the cold Nashville night, including the biggest of all no-no’s—the notorious ‘N’ word (see below). And it’s not only Morgan Wallen who is going to have to answer for it, it’s going to be country music, as writers from around the world will point out how he’s the best-selling country artist at the moment, which means every country artist that has ever lived has also always been a racist, and so is every country music fan.
I’m not sure if Morgan Wallen is a racist. This instance seems more like him trying to be a tough guy than harboring racial insensitivity. But he’s plenty stupid, and a raging douche canoe, and I wouldn’t put racism past him either. I’d say this is the final straw and he’s forever sullied his reputation. But for some inexplicable reason, this dude is given the mother of all leashes. Most of us Joes never make it to our second or third strike. This guy is on number 5 or 6. Anybody else would have been passed on if they screwed up their COVID protocol to appear on SNL. Wallen got a second chance, like he always does. That’s how we end up back at this same story. Because he never faces real consequences, and never learns. And strangely, much of the media is willing to run interference for him.
Just last week I had to bite my tongue as People Magazine published a puff piece praising Morgan Wallen for what a good father he is … to his son out of wedlock. Look, you don’t have to be married to be a good parent, but perhaps you should at least be present, and not out getting caught on camera in the middle of the night calling people “P**** motherf***ers.” That’s not exactly indicative of Father of the Year material.
“As Morgan Wallen’s popularity has exploded in the past year, he’s attracted a lot of labels—’outlaw,’ ‘sex symbol,’ ‘superstar’—that have sometimes complicated his life,” says the embarrassing spread in People Magazine. “But there’s one label, he says, that ‘I have the easiest time accepting.’ That’s ‘dad.'”
Oh screw off People Magazine, and your pathetic, transparent effort to humanize this dude and rehabilitate his image to raise his commercial stock. It’s about as shameful as when Jason Aldean got caught cheating on his wife in L.A. the same week he was on the cover of People being touted as the ideal family man. All of this stuff is such a dog and pony show. And yes, the media is complicit in this, both inside and outside of country music for fawning over this guy vociferously, and for reasons I still fail to understand.
Yes, country music has been full of infidelity and felonious actors since its inception. This is nothing new. But at least we got some good music from it. And no, the old country greats didn’t get caught on camera using the N-word, except for maybe David Allan Coe, and he’s his own special basket case. Meanwhile Wallen regurgitates expired Bro-Country, yet gets lauded by critics because he covered a Jason Isbell song. Stop it! What does this guy have to do to prove he’s trash, scream obscenities in the street in the middle of the night, checking every box off the cancel culture bingo card?
Yes, everybody deserves a second chance. But Morgan Wallen is about on chance #7. How about he just go a few weeks without screwing up? “I’m embarrassed and sorry,” he told TMZ. “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
You’ve promised that before Morgan, and many times. And you haven’t delivered. Morgan Wallen doesn’t deserve to have his entire career ripped from him any more than anyone else, which very well may happen this time. But I don’t want him representing the pinnacle of country music, either as an artist, or as a public figure. This latest incident and ‘N’ bomb will hopefully and rightfully knock him down to the notch where he belongs, which is a 3rd tier semi-okay mainstream country star struggling to fill mid to large-capacity clubs and to find traction for his mediocre radio singles.
Word is Cumulus media has already pulled all Morgan Wallen songs from their rotation, which will be an immediate wallop to his career. (UPDATE: he’s also now been pulled by iHeart, CMT, and his label has suspended his contract). And this is from the guy that has topped ALL of music for three consecutive weeks after the release of his double album Dangerous. But as they say, be wary of a hillbilly with a hit record. This very well might be the last time Morgan Wallen sees the top. And scream about cancel culture all you want, we all know the environment out there right now, and we all know the gravity of the ‘N’ word. More than anyone else, Morgan Wallen deserves whatever repercussions are coming to him. In fact, he’s in arrears.
Give all the praise you’ve been showering Morgan Wallen with to artists like Tyler Childers, Colter Wall, Charley Crockett, and Cody Jinks. They actually deserve it, and won’t embarrass you as a country music fan. They’ll make you proud.
I told you.