Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Shift in the Music Universe

Last week, while I was flipping through the channels, I caught a few minutes of a country music rocks concert thing on ABC while Jason Aldean was singing/rapping the "Dirt Road Anthem".  A country singer trying to rap?!  Or should I say a country singer trying to cross genres?  Is that even allowed?  15 years ago, the rap and country communities would have had a fit, as would their listeners and they would almost be correct.  But what about today?

I went on line to see if this was, in fact, a real song and found that he had went a step further and remade the song with rapper/actor, Ludacris, aka Chris Bridges, and had performed the song at the CMT Music Awards earlier this year.  Has country music become a genre to which rap and r&b is now okay to collaborate with?

When "Over and Over" featuring Tim McGraw was released in 2004 on Nelly's "Suit" album, quite a few of Nelly's followers were shocked that he would even collaborate with a popular country singer.  Was he abandoning his roots?  No, he was just trying something different that really worked out for him.  On YouTube, this video alone has almost 12 million hits and was #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart!  Not bad, I say!

Taylor Swift and T-Pain...

Snoop and Willie Nelson...

Jamie Foxx and Rascal Flatts...

Just to name a few.

Collaborations like these forces listeners to give country (or even rap or r&b) music a second chance.  That maybe, a least for me, country music isn't so bad and check out their other songs.  Yeah, I know that this would probably go against everything that you have been taught, but maybe its time to rock the boat a little and listen to other genres of music.  You may find a few artists or groups that become new favorites. 

I guess my point is that as times change, so do music tastes.  Now, it is becoming almost acceptable for country and rap stars to share the stage without being forced, bringing along their listeners and showing the world that these collaborations not only work, but are just the beginning. 

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