What Has Happened to Country Music?
Dictionary.com states the definition of country music as, "a style and genre of largely string-accompanied American popular music having roots in the folk music of the Southeast and cowboy music of the West, usually vocalized, generally simplified form and harmony, and romantic or melancholy ballads accompanied by acoustic or electric guitar, banjo, violin, and harmonica."
I believe this is true! There are pop songs posing as country songs in modern day country music. We have bands such as Florida Georgia Line and artists like David Lynch who can't sing a damn live but auto tune the hell out of their voices. The result is a mess. Their voices sound fake and their music sounds like it comes off a keyboard. Then almost every popular country song has the snap track in the background. Whenever a song starts off with a snap track... I change it immediately.
What has happened to country music?? It used to be all about the fiddle and guitar with a little harmonica throw in the mix. They never sang about girls in short shorts, pick-up trucks, and how country they are. Today, this is all any country singer sings about. They will almost always mention these three things. Just because you drive a pick-up, does not make you country! I have seen the citiest of city boys in skinny jeans step out of pick-up trucks.
I will admit old school country, such as Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, do sing songs about drinking. Stop for a second and listen to the lyrics. They drink because they are alone, they are sad, they are chasing this dream that has lead them down this path.
The country singers today are so spoiled and pampered that they don't know what it means to live the "outlaw" life. They can't sing about what country music is because they don't live that life. They live this life of rich celebrities.
Now on to my real big complaint about modern country music. Why does rap have to become apart of country music? I come from a really small town in Southern Oklahoma, and I absolutely hate rap music. I do not believe in what it stands for. I can't stand the music and think the lyrics are crude and disrespectful. Country music has always been something I listen to because it represents the place I come from: The hard working, blue collar folk from small towns in the farming lands.
I have made this complaint before and have been accused of being racist. Let me be clear: this is not a race thing... Not everything is a race thing! I love the music of Charlie Pride and Darius Rucker because they sing good songs and not rap crudely about women or use inappropriate words. Where I have a problem with is when country music becomes rap music. They are two different genres for a reason.
'Old Town Road'
This Lil Nas X character bought the beat for his song, 'Old Town Road', from an online store. He didn't even create his own music... what an artist! The he goes on to rap about taking his riding a horse, a tractor, cheating on his woman, and "boobies". Really?! This what should be representing country music?! I consider myself a country boy and I do not live a life such as this. This 'ole son needs to live a few months out on the farm and learn what life is really about as a country boy. All he is doing is making fun of the life I grew up with. No respect! Then Billy Ray Cyrus wants attention drawn to him because he is a 'has been'. Now people claim, "Well, Billy Ray Cyrus is country so it's a country song now." This is not the case as the song itself is still rap music.
'The Git Up'
Now, 'The Git Up'. As to my understanding it is pretty much a country rap line-dance. I'm sorry. WHAT?! A country rap line-dance- for God's sake. Is this a fun song, sure. Is it country, hell no! This reminds me of that song in middle school Coach Eves would play, 'The Electric Slide' I think it was. All this song does is tell you what to do. It tells you to slide, dip and put your hand on your side. How is this even music? Like I say I could see myself having fun with this one... If I had 2 or 6 beers in me. However, it is not country music! It is poking fun at what line-dancing is! If you want a true country line dance song- 'Boot Scootin' Boogie'. Now, that song is what country is about! It does not treat you like an idiot and... it is country!
Keeping Country Alive
Although we have snap tracks and rap music playing on the country music radio stations, we may have hope yet that country music will survive! I will just name some true modern day country singers off here: Cody Johnson, Cody Jinks, Luke Combs, Jon Pardi, Justin Moore, Whiskey Meyers, Midland, Aaron Watson, Ashley McBride- including many others. These guys are not played constantly on the radio. I don't know if I have ever heard Cody Jinks or Whiskey Meyers played on the radio. These artists, including many other playing in Texas, represent what country music is. They use guitars, fiddles- they sing sad songs about what it means to work your ass off! You should be able to listen to country music and feel something. It should move you. It should make you cry. It should make you want to grab your partner and kiss them. That is what country music is!
We used to have people who lived that "outlaw" life. They didn't care what anyone thought of them. They lived the songs they sang about. Their songs were honest and true. They were mean and relentless. They did not care about the fame or money, they cared about the music. This is where the posers of today have gone wrong. They just want the fame and nothing more.
It is sad that they do not get the credit they deserve because people would rather listen to rap music on the country station. No! Enough is enough! Leave country music alone!