Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Ryan Upchurch, an influential voice in Country Rap, released a video on YouTube that shed a harsh light on a trend in the genre. In the video, Ryan called out artists who may be using Country Rap as a money grab. In return, the video inspired a strong response from fans in the genre.
Upchurch stated that the term "Country Rap" was only being used by 2 main groups. 1.) By artists who couldn't make it in other genres, so they locked on to Country Rap as a way to cash in on its growing popularity or 2.) By artists outside of the genre as a derogatory phrase for the music.
Ryan said he understood why people used it in a derogatory way when someone could search 'Country Rap' and find songs that weren't a true representation of Country Rap. He explained that the songs coming from the first group were making true Country Rap look bad. Between the massively exaggerated country twangs, the lack of country style instrumentals, and the poor lyricism, the songs were missing the mark. He said they almost sounded like parodies and poked fun at real country people.
It's been thrown around for a while that there are artists who aren't country and use the genre as a cash cow. People like Lil Nas X used the budding genre to rocket careers. Vanilla Ice and Pitbull have also tried to fan the embers of slowing careers with Country Rap.
He released a couple videos, following the "Country Rap Money Grab" video, that gave more examples of heavily exaggerated country rap songs. It was obvious that the artists were playing hard on stereotypes to try to appeal to the fans.
After hearing the examples, he shared, many were agreeing with him. Ryan has said on more than one occasion that country rap was similar to gangster rap when it came to the fans. Fans from the country would know when the artists aren't truly living a country life like gangster rap fans know when artists had no clue about gang life.
After the uploads, fans began holding artists accountable for songs that seemed overdone. In the comment section of songs all over YouTube and posts on other social media platforms there are a slew of comments from questioning fans. It looked as though no one was immune to being called out. Even Who TF is Justin Time and Big Murph were questioned on several posts about their new song "Saddle Up"
Fans stated that the song was exactly what Upchurch was talking about. Many also said the song sounded similar to Hip Hop rapper 6ix9ine's style, even though Murph called out the rapper in his verse. Lots of their own fans said that the duo could have done much better.
Will this new awakening cause a Country Rap revival? Will holding artists to a higher standard bring forth a higher quality music? It's not certain at this moment. However, it is evident that fans will not play into artists pretending to be anything they aren't to sell a song.