There is absolutely nothing wrong with cross-genre collaboration. Anything that widens an artist or listener's musical scope is encouraged. Rap and country, as disparate as they can seem, can coexist peacefully within a single track (ie. most of Odelay). But when it's bad, good God almighty it's bad. Here are the six worst hybrids of country music and rap.
6. Brad Paisley featuring LL Cool J - "Accidental Racist"
The concept of "Accidental Racist" is noble; unfortunately its well-meaning lyrics further the stereotypes they aims to combat. More importantly, it is just a terrible, terrible song. The crawling tempo gives too much time for contemplation over Brad Paisley's attempts to be clever, and the novelty is worn by the time LL Cool J says "If you don't judge my do-rag / I won't judge your red flag."
5. Wyclef Jean - "Kenny Rogers - Pharoahe Monch Dub Plate"
Former future Haitian president Wyclef Jean retooled "The Gambler" on his 2000 album The Eclectic. Impressively, Jean got Kenny Rogers to actually sing on the track and change some of his lyrics: "You got to count your dubplates before you touch that turntable." Wyclef Jean did not technically lift Rogers' track from a previous recording, but this is still a premium case of sampling gone bad. Of particular cringeworthy note is Wyclef's "Ghetto! Ghetto! Ghetto!" ad-lib, one of his best since "One time, one time."
4. Kid Rock - entire discography
Remember when Kid Rock's redneck nu-metal seemed like the worst thing in the universe? It would be wrong to make a broad claim about popular music going downhill over the last fifteen years, but a lot of terrible shit has to go down for "Bawitdaba" to seem inoffensive by comparison.
3. Jason Aldean featuring Ludacris - "Dirt Road Anthem"
I blame Ludacris for this one. There was a time when Luda had some quality control, when his guest spots were the highlights of songs, when he could spit an entire verse wherein every line rhymes with "nipples." Now "featuring Ludacris" means little more than "somebody raps on this song." The hypothetical Ludacris I know wouldn't let Jason Aldean get away with fake-rapping his lines. Even worse, Aldean's verse is lyrically superior and less cliche. At least the token "Luda!" introduces his cameo.
2. Trace Adkins - "Honky Tonk BaDonkaDonk"
Hit song featuring dad humor sung in a twang over GarageBand loops. Meanwhile, your favorite band has to raise funds on Kickstarter to eat.
1. Big & Rich featuring Cowboy Troy - "Rollin'"
"Country boys don't rock and roll" - possibly true, although the modern incarnation of country is lifted from a decades-old model of rock. "You'll never get it on the radio" - completely not true. The first infuriating aspect of "Rollin" by Big & Rich is its false martyrdom, as if playing the most profitable form of music (at least most profitable if you look like these guys) makes you some kind of minority. The reason for entry on this list is the guest rap by Cowboy Troy, whose vernacular and flow is worse than Jason Aldean's. As mentioned in the intro, there is nothing conceptually wrong with a rap and country hybrid. In execution, it becomes obvious that the worlds rarely understand each other. This is why, as awful as he is, Kid Rock has an ounce of authenticity; he at least understands both genres. Cowboy Troy is not a rapper, he is a country singer who talks rhythmically. He's like a set of Billy Bob teeth posing as a grill. Big & Rich are similarly not versed in hip-hop, but the duo is ignorantly dismissive throughout "Rollin," asking, "Why they tryin' to complicate the simple music that we make?" Well, because when you combine an inherently white music form with an inherently black one, there is some inherent tension. You have to understand that, possibly embrace it. Shit, at least "Accidental Racist" is aware.
See also: - Ten Bands You Never Would Have Thought Used to Be Good - The Ten Biggest Concert Buzzkills: An Illustrated Guide - The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever - The Ten Worst Music Tattoos Ever
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