Rap vs. Country

[Where were the posts on Saturday & Sunday? Well, I decided to take the weekend off. That wasn’t actually a part of the “rules” when I started out, but I think it’s generally a good policy and I’ll probably stick with it.]

It’s almost universally true that “country people” hate rap and “rap people” hate country. Sure, there are folks who take a middle ground or who generally listen to a little bit of everything, but by and large being at one end of the spectrum precludes one from liking both. Being a “middle of the road” kinda guy myself, I think this is an interesting phenomenon. Not because I think absolutes are absurd in most cases (they are), but because if you’re the type of person who actually listens to and thinks a bit about the lyrics, most of the time they’re singing/rapping/crooning/auto-tuning about the same damn thing.

Smoking & Drinking

What rapper worth his salt doesn’t pop a few bottles and blow a little kush in the urr? Examples of “chemical vice” abound in hip-hop. Well…this isn’t exactly unique to rap. The lyrics to an old Hank Williams classic (complete with the optional in-between shout-outs):

Why do ya drink? (To get drunk!)
Why do you roll smoke? (To get high!)

I think you get the picture here. Moving on…

Partying

This one is pretty easy, since just about any form of music has some kind of song associated with it, so we haven’t really revealed any great truths here: People like to have a good time.

Women

In both rap and country, they are objectified and exist almost exclusively as sex objects; this is true of almost any form of media. There are also female rappers/country stars who present a strong female image; also true in most/all media formats. However, there seems to be one universal exception: Momma. (Top 10 Country Songs for Mothers, 10 Hip-Hop Songs Mom Will Love).

Violence

Okay, so there’s a little divergence here in terms of scope. Most country songs are just going to talk about bar fights or scrappin’ with pappy, whereas most rap is more concerned with gang violence and shooting people. I’m not sure I can reconcile this one without over-simplifying to “They both have violence in them.” However, there is a reason I’ve put women and violence back-to-back – what could be the unifying factor on both fronts:

Infidelity

Major theme. Both rap and country feature a ton of it. Funny thing is, without hard data I’d say that there’s probably something like a 49/49 split in either genre between “giving” and “receiving” here – i.e., being the “cheater” and the “cheated-on” (with some small percentage going to the “cheated-with”).

So…maybe not as dissimilar as you’d thought?

[As this account has been completely anecdotal, I’d like to do some more research on this one and present some actual hard data. I reserve the right (since I wrote the damn thing in the first place) to expand upon this post in the future…]