Workin’ On – Colt Ford (Average Joe’s)

Has anybody seen in graphs displaying mainstream Country P1 25-54 acceptance of rap; even clearly white rap? Driving around Austin, one of the hippest, whitest, upscale cities, I constantly encounter white kids blasting the most gawd-awful rap crap. It amazes me. There’s the generational thing, sure, me being the old coot now, but what I have a hard time computing is what the music of inner city black posers expressing their obstinacies and irritation says to upscale white teen-and-twentysomethings. I don’t see this as being akin to a similar generational split-of-minds in the 20’s and 30’s when white kids started voraciously consuming black bands and black singers, Cab Callaway, Billie Holiday….. Those artists made music with lots of different notes and rhythms. What bugs me the most about rap is the words are seemingly always delivered at the same note. If a guy raps in C that’s the key of every word, if another guy raps in G, that’s his key. Boring to me. Back to Colt, so white kids groove on rap and now white kids sure be groovin’ to Country, right? So how do these two musical forms mesh? One thing we know is Country music is near 100% white. Something of an enclave, even. A whole big bunch of people in our tent flat out don’t like rap because of the blackness of it. The anger and aggressiveness they detect in much of rap makes them uncomfortable. Primarily this group is on the far side of 35. Colt Ford is making a nice living now as the preeminent Country rapper. His concert success isn’t related to radio airplay, for sure. His lyrics are right in there in sync with middle class and lower white lifestyles. Seems like if anyone’s gonna put a rap record up at the top of the Country airplay tally, it could be him. This is probably his most radio-acceptable track yet heard. Certainly, it’s the most interesting production, score and arrangement I’ve heard from him. (And I think I’ve counted three different notes for his words in this one. Way to go, Colt!)

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