#1 Country Billboard Song for July 30, 2011

22 Jul

This week’s #1 country song proves that there are no genre distinctions when it comes to today’s popular music. What is it that really classifies a song as country, rock, pop, or even rap these days? Today’s artist are trying to reach out to fans from all genres and are blurring the distinctions that make each genre its own unique style of music that we’ve grown to love. Jason Aldean is doing just that with his current #1 song this week “Dirt Road Anthem,” which was written by Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert.

I love all of Jason Aldean’s music, such as “The Truth” and the rock anthem “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” but this song has me very torn. In this song about southern pride and country living, Jason throws in raps on the verses and then has very smooth country sound on the chorus. I am huge fan of most music, from rock and pop to country, so when they mix a little pop into country such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood I love it, but mixing rap into country is a whole different story. I have nothing against rap, I just think that country and rap should not be mixed.

Matt Bjorke of Roughstock gave “Dirt Road Anthem” a 4.5 star rating, saying “Jason Aldean knows he’s not a rapper and this isn’t a style of music that he’ll continuously do…but as for a new song with a different sound, it certainly works.” (Source: Wikipedia) I sure hope this is not a trend that will catch on. I think people like all types of music and may even like country and rap, but when you are listening to country such as Jason, you want to hear country and when you’re listening to rap, like Kanye West, you want to hear rap. I think it’s a huge mistake to mix the two permanently, but if this is just a one time thing for Jason, maybe it was a good move on his part to bring him a new audience that never would have listened to country before.

Jason is not the first country artist to dabble in adding hip hop influences into country. Toby Keith’s singles “Getcha Some” and “I Wanna Talk about Me” had spoken parts that sounded a lot like rap. Other country artists that have experimented with rap are Trace Adkins and Sugar Land. What are your thoughts on this? I can’t decide if “Dirt Road Anthem”  is worth a download or not. I love Jason’s voice on the country parts, but I’m not too fond of the rap parts and feel like he is just speaking instead of actually singing and, as a result, the song loses all its momentum in my opinion.

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4 Responses to “#1 Country Billboard Song for July 30, 2011”

  1. Bobby Braddock July 27, 2011 at 2:06 am #

    For nine years, I could say “I wrote the only #1 country rap song” (Toby Keith’s “I Wanna Talk About Me.”) I can’t say that anymore. Congratulations to Jason Aldean and the writers of “Dirt Road Anthem.” Personally I like cross pollonation. What was rock in the first place but the fusion of country and R&B? If something works, people will buy it; if it doesn’t, they won’t.

    • dustyduhon July 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      Hi Bobby, thanks so much for your response. I am a fan of your musical catalog, especially “Texas Tornado.” It was one of the first songs that inspired me to write country music because of its strong imagery and storytelling. – Dusty

  2. John Terry July 29, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Hey, Dusty! Like you, when I first heard “Dirt Road Anthem”, I was a bit torn, but it kinda grew on me! LOL! We were discussing the song at our FWSA meeting in July – I pointed out that the “rap” in this song is very different from most “urban rap” – it’s actually almost conversational in nature – just spoken in the rhythm of the song, as oppose to the fragmentary speech that makes up so much of “traditional rap” (if there is such a thing). Anyway, that’s my take! Later!

    • dustyduhon July 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      Hey John, thanks for your comment. I do agree, it seams to be growing on me as well and I do find that it’s more spoken word than actual rap, which many artist have thrown in before, even George Strait has a few song with a spoken lines, such as “Give it Away”.

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