Wednesday, May 18, 2005


This probably the first time I've covered an artist on a major label. But this is the first time I've heard of a black rapper in a cowboy hat who drops rhymes over country music instead of boomin' hip-hop beatz. And it may be the last. But I hope not. Cowboy Troy's new album came out last month on Warner Brothers Nashville and is drawing strong views on all sides of the usually narrow confines of country music. But no matter how one feels about hip-hop or country, there's no denying the goofy charm of a rap song that gives a history lesson on:

"Texas," sporting lyrics like, "The first elected president was named Sam Houston/Come on everybody, get loose in...Texas." Beats bitches & bling-bling anyday, eh pardner? The follow-up to the brilliantly-named EP "Hick-Hop Hysteria" is called "Loco Motive," samples of which can be heard here, with songs ranging from "My Last Yee-Haw" to "Do Your Thang."


Anonymous said...

African American performers have influenced country and western music from the git go. Dating back to the 1920s, a fact probably forgotten by many country music fans, DeFord Bailey, an African American, became the first star of the Grand Ole Opry.

People tend to just enjoy the music and not focus on the history. So, when someone like Cowboy Troy comes along, they are puzzled.

Mr Fab said...

True! In fact the banjo was originally a black-american instrument, based on an African stringed instrument. Black artists like Leadbelly used to perform cowboy ballads. There was a lot of back-and-forth between black and poor white ("hillbilly") musicians back in the day.

Modern country music has a massive case of amnesia.

tim said...

As they say - country is white people's blues - I can see the crossover, definitely