This is been a very progressive year for country music. First, Old Town Road sparked a conversation about what exactly defines a song as “country.” Most people were quick to call that track anything but country. I see both sides of that debate.
Then Blanco Brown dropped “The Git Up,” which he calls “TrailerTrap.” This is a country song, country production, but with a hip hop beat. It became a viral sensation and the dance craze of the year. The moment I heard it, I immediately starting diving deeper into his music. While Blanco pulls influence from hip-hop artists like Outkast, he pulls even more influence from country artists. In fact, the first country song he ever heard was one of my favorites from Tim McGraw, “Don’t Take The Girl.” He recently got the chance to record that song with Tim, take a look here:
That’s a pretty special moment for any artist. But the point I want to make here is that, when you take away the trap beat on Blanco’s music, there is no denying him as a country artist. Country music has a history of struggling to accept progressive textures as party of the format’s family. We were resistant to the crunch rock guitars from Big & Rich and Jason Aldean, we were slow to accept the “snap beats” from the Bro-country movement and we were even a little hesitant to the trap beat on Florida Georgia Line’s hit “Meant To Be.” But it did go on to become one of the biggest country hits of all-time.
Now Country music is getting a LOT of mainstream attention. So much so, EDM artists like Diplo and Marshmello are working with Country artists to dip into the twang well and push the boundaries, once again. Back to Blanco, he has worked as a producer for years and is extremely talented. People are quick to dismiss him as a “one hit wonder,” because of the viral sensation status his debut track received.
What I want you to do is listen to his new single “Tennessee Whiskey.” No, it’s not the same song as the one Chris Stapleton sang on the CMAs. This is a COUNTRY song about two people in a relationship realizing they aren’t right for each other. One is “a glass of champagne” and the other is “Tennessee whiskey.” That’s a country lyric, no doubt about it. Let’s give this guy the chance he deserves as an artists. He can sing, he can produce and he can write one hell of a country song. Blanco wants to be a COUNTRY artists, not a pop sensation. Take a look at his new video at the top of the page, push play and I think you’ll agree.