Bellamy Brothers Were ‘Ahead of Our Time’ as Country Rap Pioneers
While artists such as Colt Ford, Kid Rock, Bubba Sparxxx and Big & Rich (to name a few) have made a lucrative living out of what is now known as country rap, or 'hick hop,' one source is saying that the entire trend began with two of country music's living legends, the Bellamy Brothers.
According to Rolling Stone Country, it was their 'Country Rap' single in 1987, which was the title track from their 11th studio album, that ushered in the new wave of music.
"David and Howard Bellamy came to country with a proclivity for incorporating far-flung stylistic sensibilities," the article states. "They dabbled in reggae early in the Eighties, then reached No. 31 on Billboard’s Country Singles chart in 1987 with 'Country Rap.' It was clear from the song's hook that the brothers meant it as rap rap: "We got fatback / That's a fact / If you don't know / That's a country rap." They chanted their agrarian-themed lyrics in a sly, slack cadence over a seamless, funky groove, and even made what sounded like an oblique reference to 'Theme From Shaft.'"
The brothers, however, aren't so sure.
"I'm not sure if they're giving us the credit or the blame but we did record 'Country Rap' in 1987," Howard Bellamy says. "I guess we were ahead of our time by 27 years."
Whether or not they deserve the credit (or the blame), the Bellamy Brothers make it clear they are no longer fans of that style of music.
"We were bro-country when bro-country wasn't cool," David Bellamy adds. "But now I think we may be eating crow. In our new music video, 'Boobs,' we take a jab at country rappers. Oops."
Listen to 'Country Rap' here.