Is "Country Rap" An Oxymoron?

Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday (that isn't a national holiday) Rocks Off will have some of them hear discussing issues relevant to their culture.

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Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray
This Week's Panel: Candi Redd, (HPMA Nominee) Preemo, Niq from the G.R.I.T. Boys

Not Invited: Dallas Penn

This Week's Prompt: Pimp C used to always talk about making country rap tunes. Why (or maybe how) was it that that actually became something cool? And how did it become so intertwined with Southern rap? We mean, it's a bit ironic, isn't it? Whenever someone is trying to pretend like they're being a super racist, they always take on that same sort of accent that country musicians have. And rappers hate racists, right? So it seems like they would've tried to distance themselves from it. Instead, they incorporated it to the point where it became one of the defining characteristics of Southern hip-hop. So what's up?

Candi Redd: We have a country vernacular. Even if you try to talk proper, a person who lives on the east coast will definitely notice. I don't think people do it on purpose just to do it.

Preemo: I think that every region in the world adds their own flare or style to hip-hop whenever they embrace it. I don't think Pimp C was referring to country music when he said he made country rap tunes. People always refer to the south as being country and I just think he was taking something that was meant to be disrespectful and flipping it. Saying, "Yeah, we country, but this is who we are and we still make good music and if y'all don't like it y'all can suck a country dick." That's what I took from it, at least.

That's the beauty of hip-hop. It's like water: it can fit any shape and any mold it needs to. I am a huge fan of UGK and have been since the first time I heard "Use Me Up" and "Pocket Full Of Stones." At the end of the day, as long as you're being creative and really mastering your craft, I don't care where you're from or what kind of accent you have. Just make good music I can feel.

Niq: It can come together because most country music is built off emotion and experience, as is Southern rap. [It's] very melodic and has that natural feel, lots of live instruments and so forth . Even Nelly, who's a southern artist, actually did a real country song with a real country artist. So that in itself shows you the proof in the pudding, as Pimp C would say.


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1 comments
nomencl8ure
nomencl8ure

I say stay true to your craft. Great country singers should do what they do best and great rappers should do what they do best. Finding an artist that can blend the two well is a once-in-a-lifetime, more likely once-in-an-eternity and most likely once-in-never possibility.

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