Many have heard of Franklin Embry and Camo Collins. As solo artists, both have nice catalogs that anyone can jam to. They have collaborated a few times and made some amazing music. Now, the two have joined forces to create something beyond the music. They are creating a movement.
Last year, an album dropped featuring the duo under a new name, Trillbillies. The name of the album, “Kentuckylina,” was a play on where both artists reside. Franklin lives in Kentucky while Camo Collins lives in South Carolina, but the music included artists from multiple states. It includes features from artists like Young Gunner, Boondock Kingz, Samroc & TJ Freeq, Hitman, Big Po and Apalachee Don. Including so many artists really locked in what the Trillbillies are trying to accomplish with this movement.
While Camo Collins and Franklin Embry are both making music solo, Trillbillies has taken on a life of it’s own. Their website states that they are, “Too TRILL for the country, and too HILLBILLY for the city. UGK meets Highwaymen.” At the bottom of the page, it states, “This site is paid for and approved by the trillest of hillbillies.”
When asked what Trillbillies meant to them, Camo Collins said, “It’s not just a group name, it’s a lifestyle. Trillbillies is our Slumerican or Average Joe’s. Trillbillies is not just me and Frank, but everyone who grew up listening to hip-hop and country and so much more. A lot of times I’ve been too Trill for the country folk, and too Hillbilly for Hip-Hop. Being a part of Trillbillies means all-inclusive.”
Franklin shared the same sentiment about the name in an interview for another article. He talked about growing up in a rural area and going to an urban school. At first he experienced ridicule for his country mannerisms. Later, he fell in love with hip hop and adapted to the urban style. When he went back to a rural school, he experienced ridicule again for liking hip hop and dressing in a more urban style. The “To Trill for the country folk and too Hillbilly for Hip-Hop” rang true for him, too. Neither are alone. This genre is full of musicians and fans who can relate.
Recently, the Trillbillies announced via social media that you can get Trillbillies chapter stickers for all 50 states of the US. They want to spread their all-inclusiveness across the nation and worldwide. When it comes to their music, it is just as inclusive as their ideology.
Their debut album features songs that hit across several different genres. The song “Country Rap Tunes” pays homage to traditional southern hip-hop. In the video, you see UGK and Nappy Roots CDs in the truck. Those albums let you know they’ve been riding with the originals since the beginning.
Another song, "DBG Anthem" featuring Young Gunner and Big Country, really highlights a southern rock sound in the music. The music video continues the feel. Nothing says southern rock like Matt “Manchild” Marshall shredding strings in the back of a pickup.
“Baptized In Mud” is just pure country rap. Big mud trucks, girls shaking their thing, and thanking God for all the simple blessings of country life. What’s more country rap than that?
Then, there’s “Dirty Harry”. Hip-Hop has been known for the smack talk. This is Trillbilly smack talk at it’s finest. What country guy doesn’t know Clint Eastwood’s portrayal of “Dirty Harry”? They make it perfectly clear that they ain’t playing games with those throwing shade. If you’re feeling lucky, take them on and see where that gets you.
Camo Collins says it best in the song, “Make sure to say it low to the bad guys while you’re out there trying to seem good. We might be some of the last guys that keep it dirty like Clint Eastwood. Couldn’t keep peace like our pieces could, so we keep heat like a fleece hood, yeah. Ain’t went upside your head yet but we should. Bumpin’ Trillbillies in the Fleetwood with the top chopped, it’s a vibe. Nothin’ more really, just some more silly, billy-billies blowing my high. You can’t say we nose to nose if you can’t look me in the eyes. We can’t go toe to toe and we can’t stand side by side, Nah.”
One thing is for certain, the Trillbillies movement seems adequate for this genre. Between the music and the meaning, the fans can find a place where they belong. The all-inclusiveness for every fan to Trill for the woods and to Billy for the hoods.
For anyone wanting to join the movement, join their mailing list here. You’ll be able to keep up with all the latest music and merch. Every month they give away prizes to a lucky subscriber. Peep their Facebook or Instagram page, we’re sure you’ll feel right at home.