Biggest red flag: Country music

George+Strait%2C+Garth+Brooks%2C+Kenny+Rogers%2C+Alabama+and+Alan+Jackson+with+a+sprinkle+of+Luke+Bryan%2C+Billy+Currington+and+Jon+Pardi+here+and+there%3A+now+thats+country.

Aubree Bingham

George Strait, Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, Alabama and Alan Jackson with a sprinkle of Luke Bryan, Billy Currington and Jon Pardi here and there: now that’s country.

Yet again, country has been rated the most hated music genre. And it makes sense; why would people like songs about girls, driving trucks or shooting guns? David Allen Coe pretty much hit the nail on the head when he said it’s not a country song if it doesn’t say anything at all about “mama, trains, trucks, prison or getting drunk.” All country is the same. It consists of some white, blue-collared dude soaking in his self-pity after losing some girl (or his prized truck) with a guitar in one hand and an ice cold beer in the other. Simple themes for simple-minded people.

People dislike other genres of music like classical, pop, and rap, but they still are able to tolerate it. Country, on the other hand, is a genre people can’t stand. There is no better way to kill a vibe than to play a little “Song of the South” in a room full of people who automatically loathe it from the first few strums of the guitar. Country music is something you either love or hate. 

I told him it was not the perfect country & western song Because he hadn’t said anything at all about mama Or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting’ drunk.”

— David Allen Coe

And when I say country I’m not talking about trendy TikTok pop-country crap. That stuff makes me want to get run over by an F-150 flying down a dirt road just as much as you. I’m talking about your George Strait’s, Garth Brooks’, Kenny Rogers’, Alabama’s and Alan Jackson’s with a sprinkle of Luke Bryan’s, Billy Currington’s and Jon Pardi’s here and there. The problem with country music isn’t country itself, it’s the people who think they’re too good for country.

Country music, and especially its fans, get a bad rap. Imagine someone who listens to country music. I’ll wait. You’re either thinking of someone who looks like your average Trump supporter or your basic concert-girl in cutoff jean shorts and cowboy boots. When people think country they think hick, unintelligent and shallow. Is most country about one of the three B’s: boots, beer or breakups? Sure. But country isn’t supposed to be complex, it’s supposed to be relatable. It’s supposed to be something you can sit down and not give much thought to. Country music tells a story, and whether that be about losing a loved one, finding your soulmate or simply drinking a beer, there is value to take from what the artist is singing.

Another complaint about country is repetition. When looking at the top 10 country artists on Spotify and the lyrics to their number one song, the most frequent words were last and night with 29 mentions. No, not truck, girl, gun, dirt, ‘murica or beer. I know, it’s astonishing. To all those who say country music is only about getting drunk, there were only 46 references to alcohol and five references to a truck. While I know some of you would never consider stooping down to this “low-level,” simplistic style of repetition, just remember that your rap songs about having sex, getting high and shooting guns with the gang aren’t all that different. 

The thing is people who don’t like country aren’t listening to it right. I believe there is a country song out there for everyone in every situation. Just got dumped: done. Listen to “Someone Else Calling You Baby” or “Bandaid On A Bullet Hole.” Soaking up some sun: done. Try: “Here For A Good Time” or “Good Directions.” Want something on the older note: done. Play “The Gambler” or “Callin’ Baton Rouge.” In the end, I understand country isn’t for everyone, as are cowboy boots, trucks or really anything American. I know listening to country isn’t exactly the norm these days, but before you immediately shoot it down, at least give it a shot. And just know, no one is ever too good for country.