Defining Hick hop/Country Rap, I’d say it’s a sub-genre of country music, that just as it sounds, blends Country Music and hip hop style rapping. USA Today recently ran a story explaining the context, “country narratives that add rap’s heavy bass and aggression to storylines about pickup-driving, beer-swillin’, chicken-and-biscuit-eating good ol’ boys.”
After looking around for some back stories and Google’n it, I found all sorts of accounts of how it began, even tracing Hick Hop back to Folk Music Legend Woody Gutherie (“This Land is Your Land.“) No where that I looked, did I NOT find something crediting Cowboy Troy in some way, as an innovator of the style.
I am excited to welcome Cowboy Troy as well as his Warner Nashville Labelmate Big Smo via a Google plus Video #CMchat Twangout to talk Hick Hop & Country Rap. Join us Thursday October 10, 6pPT/9pET right here on Twangout.com making this a #HickHoptober to remember!
ABOUT BIG SMO
“You can tell when something’s real,” says the man known simply as Big Smo. “You can tell when it’s true. And I think what’s made us successful and gotten us this far is that we’re just real people, down-home country folk who really love to make music, and people see that.”
That success has been as hard won as it is impressive. What began as two friends—Smo and Orig the DJ—experimenting with samples, beats and lyrics in a makeshift home studio has turned into four independent CDs and hundreds of tour stops before over-the-top crowds from mud parks in Florida to night clubs in Vegas. He and his band—Orig, vocalists Alexander King and Haden Carpenter, guitarist Travis Tidwell, bassist Eric Flores and drummer Ryan Peel—have opened for Brantley Gilbert, appeared at 2012′s Bamajam on a bill with Kid Rock and Jamey Johnson, and rocked the crowd at 2013′s CMA Music Fest in Nashville. Perhaps most impressive, though, has been the phenomenal success of their breakthrough indy hit, “Kickin’ It In Tennessee.” Its video, a slice of real life shot on a shoestring at Big Smo’s 32-acre Middle Tennessee farm, has earned well over five million YouTube hits.
Now, with the release of his major-label debut, Kuntry Livin’, the man known as the Boss of the Sticks is poised to take it all up a very big notch.
ABOUT COWBOY TROY
A six-foot five-inch, hick-hop artist is going to get a response, and Cowboy Troy is okay with the strong reactions and endless questions. “I have crazy intentions,” he says with a grin. But anyone who thinks that the Cowboy Troy experience ends there, doubts his country credentials, or is inclined to dismiss him as a novelty, is in for quite a surprise. “People have different paths,” Troy says. “I’m not going to apologize for my music, because this is who I am. I didn’t just wake up one morning, put on a cowboy hat, and get a gig rapping on a country album. You don’t do something for 15 years on a lark.”
Cowboy Troy rapped his way into the country mainstream on the first cut of Big & Rich’s 2004 debut Horse Of A Different Color. And while his admonition to “let go of all your preconceived notions” certainly wasn’t the first time elements of rap had been incorporated into country, it was the boldest statement yet. Explaining the journey that placed Troy Coleman at this unlikely intersection is as complicated as explaining the evolution of American culture. At the same time it’s as simple as the story of a kid from Texas who did what all kids do–he soaked up the world around him.
10/7 #CMchat with Steve Wariner 6pPT
10/14 #CMchat with Colt Ford 6pPT
10/17 **TWANGOUT with Moonshine Bandits
10/21 #CMchat with Lee Brice 6pPT
10/28 #CMchat with Chase Rice 6pPT
For a complete schedule go to cmchatlive.com/upcoming
#CMchat Twitterviews are Mondays from 6-7pPT on Twitter
Google+ Twangout’s are as booked TBA