Roots of Country Music and Hip-Hop

I’ve often contended that the thematic similarities between country music and hip hop (as well as punk) – poverty, faith, community, rebellion, redemption, love, an insanely loyal fan-base – have always been there bubbling just under the superficial stylistic surface. Juli Thanki over at PopMatters.com does  a great job of fleshing out this concept in her story Who Says Country Can’t Hip-Hop?

Though I’m less impressed with the use of Kid Rock, Cowboy Troy and the Big and Rich creation, the “Muzik Mafia” as well as her “Screwed-Up Genius Who Died Before His Time” theory to tie the two genres -represented here by Tupac Shakur and Hank Williams – to be dubious, and the oversight of excellent artists that represent an appealing mix of the two cultures in their work like Ridley Bent and Buck 65 – I do applaud the article’s direction overall and the focus on House of Pain’s Everlast, the Gourds cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” and Snoop’s own work with Willie Nelson and his expressed respect for the Man in Black,  Johnny Cash.

With full knowledge of the level of loyalty of both genre’s fans, Thanki anticipates much hate mail from her article. If the email assailing does come to be it will just prove that no one hates quite as hotly as close brothers.

Buck 65 – Wicked and Weird

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oFVlcXEHkI[/youtube]

Ridley Bent – The Devil And Coltrane Henry

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw0K0GviZg4[/youtube]

2 thoughts on “Roots of Country Music and Hip-Hop

  1. ryan
    November 26, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    There is nobody better than Buck 65 (that is, if you don’t count Hank – which would be dumb).

  2. Juli
    December 2, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for reading, Baron! I think we’ve run into each other a couple times on the III board (I’m JakeLegBlues).

    I do dig Buck 65, and some other country/hip hop stuff like B-Star, but I wanted to address the more commercial aspects of the country hip-hop genres, if only so we could use that Lil Jon/ Big & Rich photo, which alternately amuses and horrifies me every time I look at it 😉

    Plus, I don’t know enough about noncommercial hip-hop to really make an informed comparison between it and the alt-country side of things.

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