Horst Wessel Hoedown
Weird Scenes inside the Denim Goldmine
For the first time in a long time I actually wanted to read a Daily Wire story. “Meet The Conservative Country Singer Who Turned Down ‘Woke’ Record Labels, And Is Still Topping The Charts,” the come-on said, and the little bit of it that Ben Shapiro’s paywalled site let me read was intriguing:
Singer Buddy Brown once leaned on country radio to help hone his songwriting, but not in the way you’d expect.
“I used to write songs and if I thought they could be played on country radio I’d throw them in the trash,” Brown says of his formative years as a singer-songwriter. “It needs to come from a different perspective. I never wanted to get confused with the mainstream shuffle.”
Mind you, it wasn’t the standard-issue I’m-a-rebel musician yap that interested me — I’d been reading stuff like that for decades. That angle’s not as popular as it once was, when joy-poppers used to seek the Next Thing in dives rather than on the Internet. But it’s always a good tack to take when the majors aren’t interested.
No, I was interested in Brown because I’d seen some of his stuff, and he was going full-on as a rightwing act — not just in the old-fashioned country way, the fight-in-wars-do-all-my-chores-for-my-momma-and-daddy way, or the Okie-from-Muskogee way, or even the Kid Rock I’m-an-asshole-so-what way, but sort of the way that David Allan Coe was on his underground records, except much less musical and loose, and much more focused on the “N***** Fucker” material.
Here’s one of Brown songs, “Driving Through the Ghetto.” It begins:
When you’re driving through the ghetto
In your hillbilly truck
’Cause you made two wrong turns
And suddenly you’re outta luck
And you look up in the projects
And you start to smell that weed
Lock your doors, turn the windows up
Pray for the light to go green
And you better be packing
That old 9-double-M
Rolling through Atlanta
With that scared-ass white boy grin…
The video’s weird — the joyous “you better be packing” refrain comes with a gun-loading sound effect, suggesting that’s the only way a white guy can get out of a black neighborhood alive. The video features a lot of Brown’s own chipmunk grin, with some shots of black folks, but despite the alleged necessity of packing in their presence they don’t look dangerous: There’s a guy walking his lawnmower along the highway, a couple of young men shambling down a street, some broke-down little houses, a Borneo Hibachi and Sushi truck (?), a barber shop, etc. Still, Brown’s glad he’s got his piece. The police don’t do nothin’!
Maybe you think he’s kidding. Brown is also the author of “Don’t Run From the Cops” (“And we’ll all watch it on the news/ Eating popcorn laughing too” — it’s sort of his George Floyd tribute). On the video he dedicates his performance to “all the men and women out there in blue,” laughing kinda cozy-like.
Well, Daily Wire wanted my credit card information, fuck that, but the story’s author, Christian Toto — a culture war buffoon from way back — also has a Brown story on his own site gratis, so I read that instead:
Buddy Brown became a country music star on his own terms, but it wasn’t by choice.
The singer behind “Rowdy Side” and the viral smash “We Gotta Be Less White” went to Nashville…
Hang on, “We Gotta Be Less White”? No kidding, it’s Brown’s anti-anti-racist song about how he’s down on Coca-Cola because they have diversity programs, so now “Coke ain’t get served in my kitchen,” only because you can’t burn Co-Cola bottles like Nikes, I guess. (But he’s still smiling, people! Like when kids get shot by the cops, it’s all good.) I guess this humble, non-fashion-following redneck singer-songwriter is as conversant with the latest rightwing rage objects as Andrew Sullivan and Rod Dreher.
…to pursue his music dreams. That’s what the rule book says, and he eagerly followed the blueprint … until the industry held up a “stop” sign.
He was too political, the right-leaning Brown tells The Babylon Bee podcast. So he went rogue, building his career without the traditional support structures.
Sorta like Redd Foxx and Moms Mabley and their party records except, well, you know. Most of the rest of the article is a typical cultural-conservative blubberfest about how the artists and their puppetmasters have all Done Gone Woke, only this time Toto’s talking not about Hollyweird but about Nashville — CMT recently “teamed with the ‘Wear Orange’ campaign to support National Gun Violence Awareness Day,” which of course is double-plus-uncountry, and some good ol’ boy said the n-word and the Deep State powers that be made him apologize, like Stalin or William Tecumseh Sherman.
Brown comes in at the end to say that Nashville “is a very, very blue county… they’d rather lean to the Left than the Right.” That explains the current Billboard country chart, where the number one song is Aaron Lewis’ “Am I The Only One,” a Marxist revolutionary ballad in which — hang on, it’s actually about another redneck who don’t like yer libtard ways:
For my love of the red and white
And the blue, burnin’ on the ground
Another statue comin’ down in a town near you
Watchin’ the threads of Old Glory come undone…
Am I the only one who quits singin’ along
Every time they play a Springsteen song?
LOL very specific, Hoss! The official video’s just a flag waving, but I assume when he sings Lewis ain’t wearin’ a Buddy Brown smile.
Now that ain’t all they play on country stations nowadays; there’s still plenty of dumb fun songs like Walker Hayes’ “Fancy Like” (“She wanna dip me like them fries in her Frosty”). And Georgia State Line is charting with Nelly and a video with a lot of black folks in it, and for some reason nobody’s acting like they’ll shoot them:
It’s pretty good! (Just saying, I don’t see “Topping the Charts” Buddy Brown on there at all.)
But it looks some of the C&W boys are doing what looks like the 2021 equivalent of the groovy revolution tunes in the 60s — only instead of war and The Establishment, their villains are Black Lives Matter and the Deep State.
I mean, modern country sucked before, but…