Part 1: Country and Rap
I’ve heard a lot of controversy over the song Accidental Racist by Brad Paisley and LL Cool J, so I finally listened to it myself. And honestly, it wasn’t that bad…until LL Cool J came in. This post isn’t going to be about the meaning of the song though, it’s going to be about the genres mixing together.
You always hear people saying two things, “I hate country music, it’s all about guns and trucks and beer.” or “I hate rap music, it’s all about sex and drugs and money.” Am I right? Well, there’s a reason for that, and I think think this song bringing the two genres together is what really made me see it.
Country artists generally grew up in the country. So what are they going to write about? Country things, owning a truck, shooting guns, workin’ on the ranch, drinkin’ beer, living in small towns, etc. And THAT’S what country music is. It’s not just the sound (though that’s obviously a big part of it), it’s the lyrics, the words are also supposed to be country.
Then you have rappers, who generally are black (not racist, there are white rappers but the majority are black). Most grew up in the “hood” where they had to work hard for their money and where there is a lot of criminal activity. I’m not being racist here, I live in the country and there’s just as much crime there, too, the difference is how it’s publicized (sad but true). So, what do these rappers have to write about? Yes, their lives. And what they grew up around.
So then we ask, well what if a rapper is from the country? Can they rap country style? Well, sure, but how is that gonna turn out? Probably poorly, right LL Cool J? These are definitely music stereotypes, but before we judge the music, ask why the music is the way it is. There is a place where country orginated and it’s probably not downtown Brooklyn. And there is a place where rap originated and it’s probably not Coolville, Ohio. (That was me stereotyping by the way.) These two genres have their own styles and origin and mixing them together or changing them up, I think we’ve all learned, would be a bad thing. Props to Brad and LL for trying though!
What Are Your Thoughts?