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Last updated on August 8th, 2017 at 03:34 pm
An impressive piece on country music from—of all places—the Economist:
“Cool” people think country is hopelessly square. Country singers neither cuss like rappers nor grapple so boldly with “edgy” subjects. “Some messages are clearly not allowable [in country music], like ‘Fuck tha police’ or ‘I got 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one’,” writes Chris Willman in his excellent book “Rednecks and Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music”. “But then there are messages that aren’t allowable in any other popular-music genre that flourish here, such as: I wish I’d been there when my mama died. I miss my husband in Iraq. Babies and old people rule. If I die, take care of my kids for me.”
Once they pass a certain age, most Americans stop worrying about being cool. This is often when they start (or go back to) listening to country music.
At which point they’re spared certain troubling lyrical content:
Byron Hurt takes pains to say that he is a fan of hip-hop, but over time, says Mr. Hurt, a 36-year-old filmmaker, dreadlocks hanging below his shoulders, “I began to become very conflicted about the music I love.”
A new documentary by Mr. Hurt, “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” questions the violence, degradation of women and homophobia in much of rap music.
Violence? Degradation of women? Homophobia? Sounds kinda rednecky.