Unpopular Opinion: Country Music is Underrated

Unpopular+Opinion%3A+Country+Music+is+Underrated

Graphic by Jane Bachus

Emma Murphy, Co Editor-in-Chief

I am a person who listens to a large array of music. One second I will have on Juice Wrld, then Fleetwood Mac, then Post Malone, then Garth Brooks and then Lorde. I have probably listened to every genre of music and actually enjoyed it. I am here to tell you that country music is a lot better than you think it is. 

OK I know what you’re thinking, country music is all about tractors, God, your girlfriend breaking up with you and farms. But that stereotype is so far from true. There is only a small percentage of country music that is all about “country” things. Many country artists write songs about love, mental health, changing the world and kindness. 

Every single country song that I have ever listened to tells a story and you have to agree that some country songs are the catchiest tunes you know. Before country music, we had folklore music. Folk music tells stories of love, rejection and life. It makes sense that country music took the storytelling aspect of folk when it branched into its own genre.

I know we are all guilty of jamming to “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood in the shower or in the car. The reason why that song resonates in your head is because the lyrics and story are catchy. When I listen to other genres like rap at the end of some of the songs I am just confused because the artists just spat random words at me. 

Country music is ever changing and there are “types” for everyone. Some country artists sing about tractors, some are more pop based and some incorporate rock into their sound. I think that is the best part about country music, there are genres inside of the genre. 

If you like pop music, you would probably like Thomas Rhett. If you like rock music, you would probably like Garth Brooks. If you like neo traditional/pop/indie music, you would really enjoy Kacey Musgraves.  like more modern rap/trap music you would enjoy Lil Nas X’s sound. 

All of these artists consider themselves to be based in country music, but their sound is so versatile it attracts a lot of listeners. There is a type of country music for everyone to enjoy.

I think there is a huge stereotype, especially nowadays, that if you listen and like country music you are a redneck hillbilly that voted for Donald Trump. Yes, some fans of country music are redneck hillbillies, but there are also people like me who listen to country music who are very far from being a redneck. Afterall, there have been very few country artists who have come out in support of Donald Trump. A lot of country artists have actually openly criticized and denounced support of the republican party and Donald Trump. 

Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, The Chicks, Kacey Musgraves, Tim McGraw, Lorretta Lyn, Taylor Swift and Wille Nelson are just a few country artists who find where our country was heading under the leadership of Donald Trump absolutely disgusting. 

Some of these artists actually got a lot of hate in Nashville for speaking up for what they believe in. Taylor Swift has been largely criticized for using her platform to share her opinions with her fans. She kept her opinions to herself for a very long time, but in her documentary Miss Americana she talked about how it was really important to her to use her huge fan base to educate them about the problems she sees in the country. 

Taylor Swift was definitely not the first country artist to share her opinions. The Chicks were run out of Nashville in the early 2000s after criticizing George W. Bush for sending troops into Iraq. Their fan base was mostly right-wingers who supported Bush’s decision to send troops into Iraq. After their remarks at a concert in 2003, radio stations stopped playing their songs, people stopped buying music and buying concert tickets. Their careers took a massive hit and someone would say their careers still haven’t bounced back yet. 

Country music is full of people who are fighting to make the world a better place in ways no other genre is. Thomas Rhett and Reba McEntire came out with songs in March bringing unity and hope to the country at the beginning of quarantine. Personally, I think that is the best thing about country music. After I listen to a song I feel like the message was meant directy for me. 

I challenge everyone to sit down and give country music a try. If you found that you didn’t like a certain country artist’s sound, try someone different. There is a type of country for everyone to enjoy. 

Overall, country music is one of my favorite genres because it has become more progressive over time. It is very attractive to me to see some of my favorite artists stand up for the same causes as me. I truly believe everyone can find a country artist that they can relate to and enjoy.