I remember when I first heard the term “country rapper.” The year was 2008, after Colt Ford released his debut album. My parents and I were riding in the car listening to “The Nashville Channel” on Sirius XM. At some point during our travels, they played a song by Colt Ford called “Ride Through the Country (feat. John Michael Montgomery).” My dad was the first person I heard to say the words “country rapper.” I had no idea that country rap would become what it is today, but I knew I liked it. Eventually, my parents wound up buying Colt’s first album Ride Through The Country, which I enjoyed just as much as the song. The next country rap act I heard about was The LACS, also known as The Loud A** Crackers. I heard them on the same station that I heard Colt Ford. The song was “Wild Turkey,” but I didn’t know it was The LACS. The next LACS song I heard was none other than “Kickin’ Up Mud.” I eventually got my hands on Country Boy’s Paradise, The LAC’s debut. At that point, I had come to the conclusion that this kind of country music, hick hop, was going somewhere. So I started telling people at my school about Colt and The Lacs, but mostly Colt. Most of my friends didn’t like the idea of country rap. One kid went as far as creating a Facebook page titled “I Hate Colt Ford.” But they didn’t change my mind at all.
My love for country rap really started heating up in 2014 during the summer after my trip to CMA Fest 2014. At the festival, Unionville, Tennessee’s Big Smo was promoting season 1 of his self-titled A&E reality TV show. I had no idea who Big Smo was at the time. That changed when I kept seeing his major label debut Kuntry Livin’ in the Top 20 on iTunes Country album sales chart. I took some interest and looked at the track listing to find out that country star Darius Rucker and the then up and comer Frankie Ballard appeared on the album on “My Place” and “Come On” respectively. These collaborations gave me reason to preview and eventually buy the album. I thought it was a great one and well worth it.
Since then, I have been looking for other hick hop artists to listen to. Average Joes Entertainment has plenty of them, so I started looking them up and buying their music. I also started listening to Average Joes Radio and discovered Jawga Boyz, who are now my favorite hick hop artists. I have written an analytical essay on hick hop for a college composition class, and also a PowerPoint presentation on Average Joes Entertainment for a computer applications class. After tweeting Average Joes about my PowerPoint, they sent me a free T-shirt. I am going to do whatever I can to support hick hop, a genre that country artists need to pay attention to.
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