Going into this, the prospects I had for being able to squeeze any bit of entertainment value or cultural insight for the amount of time invested seemed incredibly slim. The premise was flimsy, my knowledge and interest in the subject matter was superficial to say the least, and the whole thing just seemed to be a vehicle for robbing the public by exploiting a rising trend with shallow and shoddily-produced content.
But what I found despite my cultural ignorance and suspicions going in was an entertaining glimpse into a side of culture I would likely otherwise never be exposed to, and something that could act as an illustrated snapshot of a moment in America that we may have otherwise only have our memories to call back on—something that could act as a cultural guidepost and frame of reference for a time and place for generations to come.
…Wait, we’re talking about the MOVIE House Party, right? The comedic Kid ‘n Play vehicle from 1990 that spawned two sequels, has ridden its stature as a cult classic to an aggregated rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and had Roger Ebert singing its praises about how it showed black teenagers with a freshness and originality?
….Oh you mean the SONG “House Party” from Sam Hunt that he’s releasing as his next single.
Yeah, that shit sucks.
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The theory has been floated many times that something can’t be qualified as “cool” in American culture unless young black males are into it. Whether you personally buy into that theory or not, country music has bought in lock, stock, and barrel. Sam Hunt’s “House Party” is cultural appropriation for commercial enterprise of the highest order. It isn’t enough that mainstream country music is raping its own culture, now it’s got to ooze its filthy mandibles into a different sector of society and make a mockery of someone else’s too. Safe white America’s appetite for subjugating other people’s art forms and sterilizing them in its insatiable consumerism binge is as embarrassing as it is destructive.
Proponents of Sam Hunt and “House Party” will tell you that this is all part of country music’s necessary “evolution.” But as I attempted to illustrate above, there’s absolutely nothing evolved, or even topical about subject matter that hit its apex of relevancy 25 years ago, especially when it’s appropriated into the foreign context of country music. Sam Hunt is simply a manufactured machination of the Music Row machine constructed to cull the highest possible amount of dollars from the gullible masses to help prop up the industry’s crumbling and unsure infrastructure.
From an artist who’s consistently offered the most blindingly non-country songs in the entire 70 year history of the genre, “House Party” is Sam Hunt’s most non-country song overall, if you even can believe that’s possible. What about the banjo you ask? That’s the biggest giveaway that this song is nothing more than a calculated ruse. In an absolute vacuum of country influences, Sam Hunt and producers Zach Crowell and Shane McAnally were forced to add the banjo track or risk exposing the song and the entire calculated project for the sham that it is.
The record scratches, the overt use of Auto-tune as an audio filter, the references to “blowing up phones” and “rattling roofs,” and the Ebonic annunciations are enough to not just alarm country fans, but fans of the integrity of culture in all of its forms, especially black artists who are getting sold out by country carpetbaggers that would appropriate and water down everything cool in their culture until there’s nothing left to pilfer in the bankrupting of American culture at large.
So no, I didn’t find Sam Hunt’s “House Party” particularly stimulating or culturally gratifying. I would call this the worst country song ever, but even that would endow it with a modicum of potential country music affiliation that it is not qualified to carry. This is nothing more than outdated electro-pop that country music should be wholly embarrassed for even considering as part of its format, and should violently spit out like a petulant toddler does something unsavory forced into its mouth.
Kid ‘n Play and the high top fade? …. Still more country than Sam Hunt.
Two guns way down.