In the past couple of months, we've seen a few artists reach huge milestones. Milestones that really make you open your eyes to the widespread notice Country Rap is getting.
First, we saw Ryan Upchurch perform two sold out arena shows in Corbin, Kentucky. That was a huge accomplishment for an independent artist. To even get booked at an arena as an independent, country rapper is amazing. To be the headliner, and sell out the show, that's something entirely different.
As a huge surprise, and thank you to his fans, he brought a slew of talent to perform with him or show their support. The crowd was awed with performances by his mother, Adam Calhoun, Struggle Jennings, and Demun Jones.
"Well, I’ve only been to a Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams, Jr. concert to compare it to, and Church and Creeksquad put on just as good, if not better of a show. It was an amazing night," Travis, an attendee of the second concert, told Country Rap News.
"I've been to a couple of other Upchurch shows. This one was, by far, the best yet," another attendee, Ian, said.
Upchurch truly showed his gratitude to the crowd. With the quickness that the show sold out, it is obvious that people are really noticing the pure talent in the genre.
Another artist who has pulled off a huge feat was Jericho, from the group Rehab. Since the pandemic put tours on hold and kept Rehab apart, Jericho has been putting the down time to use by releasing singles.
His most recent single, "Buck Wild," featured the comedian, Southern Momma, aka Darren Knight. The single was released to Facebook exclusively. In less than 12 hours, the song had well over 100K views. In 5 days, the video broke 1 million views.
For a music video to reach 1 million views, it's a huge accomplishment. To be able to say that you did it solely on Facebook is mind-blowing.
Jericho told Country Rap News, "I’m blown away when anybody listens to my music, much less 1 million."
As of today, 16 days after it's release, the video is approaching 1.5 million views. It has 1.6k shares, 2K likes, and over 200 comments on Facebook alone. That is astronomical for an independent artist and a viral comedian.
Now, the latest news. Get ready for it. Jelly Roll, the Nashville native rapper, has announced that he will be headlining the Ryman Auditorium on September 17th. Yes! The Ryman! The main stage of Country Music! Tickets do not go on sale until May 7th, but it's bound to do big things.
In a recent email Jelly Roll sent out, he said, "This might be one of the biggest announcements ever for me personally -- it is truly an honor to be able to say, I'll be headlining at the Ryman on September 17th. After the year we had last year, I'm excited to get back out and perform live for y'all again -- This show will be special for me, as a hometown kid growing up in South Nashville, I could only dream that one day I would end up performing at such an iconic venue. There have been so many amazing performers who have graced the stage of The Mother Church -- and now I get to be one of them!"
If you aren't familiar with the history of the Ryman, the auditorium was built by Captain Thomas Ryman, Reverend Sam Jones, and other Nashvillian as a church known in the beginning as Union Gospel Tabernacle. Over the years it has seen lots of shows, including a circus, ice skating performance, a world renowned mime, and even a magic show performed by Harry Houdini. However, it is best known for being the house of The Grand Ole Opry from June, 1943 to March, 1974.
Many people listened across the nation as country music poured off the stage and through the airways during the Opry's performances. Acts like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Patsy Cline awed the crowd. Actually, the Ryman is the very place that Johnny Cash was banned from The Grand Ole Opry for smashing out the footlights with a mic stand due to the microphone being faulty. They later lifted the ban.
Now, an independent artist, who raps will be joining the long list of talent that's taken center stage. This isn't just big news for Jelly Roll, this is big news for Country Rap.
Others may say what they will about Country Rap, but this genre is on the cusp of something great. It is in a transitional phase as we speak. The artists, and their music keep catching ears and drawing in large crowds. It's an exciting time for the artists and fans alike. We are watching history in the making.