Imagine your formative, adolescent self, all bright eyed and full of wonder, with rosy cheeks and peach fuzz, waking up to the sound of your parents having wild, loud, sweaty, uninhibited old people unprotected sex right beside you, and all the guttural utterances, moans, and other indiscernible and acrid noises thereof scarring your precious little ears in a post traumatic manner that will stick with you for eternity, and pursue you in every waking moment for the rest of your life.
This is how the new song from Sam Hunt knockoff and virtually nobody Walker Hayes called “You Broke Up with Me” starts off. And somehow, inexplicably, it discovers a path forward that despite the insurmountable odds, gets even worse from there.
We’ve reached a new, dubious low in country music ladies and gentlemen. We’re far beyond Taylor Swift releasing pop songs and calling them country. We’re well removed from Jerrod Niemann making idiotic EDM racket with “Drink To That All Night,” basically ending his career so that EDM pop can encroach into country like never before. We’re even a step further than Sam Hunt and his shittastic offerings that have pushed the boundaries of “country” to not just dangerous levels in testing its elasticity before it bursts like a bubble and implodes, but allows country music to become indiscernible from all other popular music in a grand entrance to country music’s membership to the monogenre.
What we have with “You Broke Up with Me” is a song that doesn’t just draw and quarter any and all ideas of what quality or country music content is supposed to be, it expressly looks to achieve the exact scientifically certified diametrically opposed opposite sounds and themes to what actual country music is.
This song is so bad, and Walker Hayes so devoid of talent, he can’t even fucking whistle right. It sounds like when a 6-year-old tries to whistle for the first time, and it’s more breath than tone. Bobby McFerrin, shield your ears. And the pseudo-rapped words of the song is like some sort of transmogrified Kardashian speak the likes that 14-year-old adolescent boys whose balls just dropped would use on Instagram.
“Ain’t nobody making you watch me get my forget you on.”
What kind of fuck nutted douche babble is this?
Usually these such songs are not even strung together by anything that would resemble a “story,” but “You Broke Up with Me” is the exception. However the story at the heart of the song—if you can translate it from the idiotic, mealy-mouthed douche speak it’s white boy urban slurred in—it’s about some self-centered asshole trying to make his ex jealous and justifying it because “Hey, you broke up with me.”
You would think such shallow, narcissistic bullshit would be coming from some wet-behind-the-ears early 20-something immersed in the club life and all the self-absorbed trappings thereof, right? Especially seeing how this song is being offered in hopes of launching a brand new superstar never heard before in country music. But the entire opposite is the case. Similar to setting a new low for the amount of non country a “country” song can achieve, Walker Hays also has earned the abominable distinction of being the most inauthentic author of such material in country music history.
Walker Hayes isn’t in tune with the night life as a spry, 23-year old with Axe body spray glistening his pecks and a pocket full of prophylactics hoping to be expended after a night at the club. He’s a married, 37-year-old with six kids. And no, that’s not hyperbole. Walker Hayes moved to Nashville 12 years ago with his wife, and has been failing in the country music business ever since. Once signed to Capitol Records Nashville, he’s released four singles, all of which couldn’t get past the Top 40 barrier. So how did this no name guy who will be due for a prostate check in a few years get slotted as country music’s next superstar?
It might actually be the intangibles and industry tentacles extending from Walker Hayes and “You Broke Up with Me” that make the whole thing so sinister. This is not just the lead single from a Sam Hunt knockoff you’ve never heard of before. Walker Hayes is the flagship artist for a new major label imprint called Monument Records—the old Fred Foster label that at one point housed Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson—that has recently been revitalized by Sony, with none other than songwriter and Sam Hunt producer Shane McAnally serving as co-president.
Walker Hays has been decided upon as Monument’s golden goose, and “You Broke Up with Me” as the vehicle to get him to superstardom. We’re already seeing incredible promotional cash being thrown behind this song. They’re taking out full page ads in industry periodicals, wining and dining the industry, erecting billboards around Nashville, whatever it takes to get Walker Hayes and “You Broke Up with Me” to #1, which will happen. It’s a similar scenario to when the new label Big Loud Mountain launched Chris Lane (another Sam Hunt doppelganger) via his single “Fix.” They would gladly spend $2 million to make $1 million off of one song simply to launch a celebrity “franchise” from which to build their label and brand around.
It’s an investment at the expense of country music and the listening public. And since country radio will allow anyone to waltz in and nab a #1 for a week (unless they’re a woman of course), it makes crowning any Joe off the street with average skills as a mega superstar entirely possible. And Walker Hayes, his fucking laptop (which is how this song was made as can be seen in the video below), and his six kids will be the next beneficiary, while people who actually make fucking music with fucking instruments go out-of-business all up and down Music Row. Idiotic digital automation has officially found its way to country music, which used to be the last bastion of the human touch in audio recording—yet another dishonorable distinction that deserves to be assigned to his most heinous of “songs.”
But I don’t even blame Walker Hayes for this. He’s just trying to put food on the table for his family, and is doing so by chasing the trend. He’s an unwitting pawn, a faceless vessel from which behind-the-scenes string pullers can make millions, principally Shane McAnally, which now more than ever, is being unmasked as the preeminent asshole screwing over country music solely for financial benefit, while trying to remake country music in his sole image because he’s too lazy to move to one of the coasts where his “music” skills would be plyed more appropriately.
Shane McAnally could write 1,000 “Drinkin’ Problem” songs by Midland or songs by Wheeler Walker Jr., and it would never make up for the utter destruction he’s caused for entire swaths of the country music industry. I’d even go as far as to say—especially now with the revelation of Monument, Walker Hayes, and “You Broke Up with Me”—that Shane McAnally, for political and cultural reasons, is purposely trying to remake what he sees as idiotic redneck culture into an institutionally urbanized style as to eradicate an entire way of life so that he can feel more comfortable in his own environs. It is a closed-minded, subversive agenda that must be stopped for the preservation of the culture that means something deep and inherent to the millions of rural-dwelling individuals in the United States and beyond.
“You Broke Up with Me” is not just another shitty song. It is an extremely important moment in country music, where either a line in the sand is drawn, preserving the natural order and boundaries of what country music is, preserving the jobs of hundreds of world-class musicians who rely on the industry to pay their bills and raise their families. Or do we allow Shane McAnally, and some washed-up fuckstick with a laptop to take over the entire industry and remake it in a way that whitewashes country music’s vibrant and vital culture that gives identity to millions of people?
Unfortunately, we all know the answer.