Country Music + Hip Hop = Hick Hop. (No, Seriously.)

If you had to come up with a more unlikely case of musical crossbreeding, I don’t think you could do any weirder than mixing country music with hip hop.  The cultural/racial/stylistic/demographic dynamics are just too…well, chalk and cheese, right?

Well, no.  This odd musical mongrel is doing rather well in some circles.  The Atlantic reports:

Country music is generally seen as music for rural white people sung in traditional styles. Hip hop is (also generally seen as) urban black music continually updating itself. For both cultural and aesthetic reasons, the twain, you’d think, should never meet.

And yet they have. In an article from late last year, writer and sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote about the latest wave of so-called “hick hop,” in which country radio hitmakers like Florida Georgia Line collaborate with mainstream rap artists like Nelly to create a hybrid cyborg cross-genre marketing juggernaut. From “Cruise” to the Brad Paisley/L.L. Cool J. duet “Accidental Racist” to Jason Aldean and Ludacris’ “Dirt Road Anthem“, to the maybe-up-and-coming hitmaker Big Smo, rap has become a somewhat-controversial new fixture of popular country. To figure out why, I interviewed Cottom about hick hop, race, class, and what it means when country goes hip hop.

Continue reading. Meanwhile, here’s an example of hick rock from Jawga Boys.  Wasn’t Everlast doing this stuff years ago?  And what about Kid Rock?  Could he be the Godfather of Hick Hop?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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