Lil Nas X and Country... RAP!!!!
Written By Jeremy "J-Jack" Jackson
By now, it would be hard to find anyone who hasn't heard this years SUPER HIT. Which is on its way to making even more history as the Number 1 hit song on charts. Currently its been 16 weeks and seems like its destined to reach 17 and possibly more. No one knows when the song will lose steam, as its currently been covered by many Artist like Blondie and too many remixes to count, including a remix that included Young Thug and Mason Ramsey. I guess its safe to say, that RIGHT NOW, the COUNTRY... Raps!!!
But it shouldn't be that much of a surprise, as it seems. Most will say it goes back to Kid Rock and his song "Cowboy". You can even go back to Sir Mix-A-Lot with "Square Dance Rap" in 1985. or Kool Moe Dee with "Wild Wild West" in 1987. For myself, it goes back to "Rappin' Duke" by Shawn Brown in 1984. If you're a Hip Hop purist, how can you not remember the Rappin' Duke... Da Ha Da Ha Da Haha ha ha haaaa!!! An ode to John Wayne and considered novelty rap. I guess as categorized like a Weird Al Jankovic song, to be in a comical sense.
Well, you can point out other previous Artist also like Mo Thugs Family with "Ghetto Cowboy", Bubba Sparx, or Nelly who took Country Grammar a lil farther, with a collab with Country music star Tim McGraw. Country Rap was sprinkled thru Hip Hop ears for more years then some may think. Being in the South, I can step outside and see horses without leaving my steps. Black Country Cowboys didn't just all of a sudden pop up, out of nowhere. It's a history to it. Just maybe different then what Nashville considers... Country and so with that, as I'm sure the readers know, also the controversy at first of is "Old Town Road" ....Country enough??
Many Hip Hop artist may follow suit, but what
are they following?? Lil Nas X or the history that has been sprinkled over 35 years. You may see more songs with 4 Wheelers, Cowboy boots, hats and horses now, and say, Lil Nas X!! But that person may have lived that life since birth.
In the South, its many who can't wait for the annual Mud Rides or trail rides or just everyday, riding their 4 wheelers. Leading a parade with the horses, train by Black Men, that have been doing it for years. It's BEEN their life, with or without a song. Or the Clubs that have a saloon type feel. Music imitates life, tho sometimes music creates imitations as well. Rappin", using some country infusion, isn't a creation. Many of our elders can tell you true stories, that music couldn't. It was life. It's NOT everyone that lives in the South, life but it isn't how it's portrayed now, as something that needs a cosign. It may be just long overdue or just didn't catch on as quick with the mainstream and for that, Lil Nas X deserves every award and honor he has and will receive. As well as for, opening up the door for many of the youth, like the young Black kids I've seen wearing cowboy boots since they can remember breathing. That it is part of their history as well.
But also, remember it is spread in Hip Hop's DNA, as well as Black People's history, just as much as any other race history. Lil Nas X might take over rock and roll now, or another genre, as he has shown that he wants to show his versatility. That maybe unheard of. But if he goes to Rock n Roll, it is history there as well. As Lil Nas X and "Old Town Road" continue it's success, don't be surprised at some Country elements or songs to follow from upcoming artist. History points to it's growth. It may have been a slow growth, until Lil Nas X snow plowed his way through but it's not something that will go away, or just die out. Because to so many people... it's LIFE!! Music and art, imitates LIFE!!!