Country Music vs. Rap Music

There are two kinds of people in the world- those who are more prone to listen to Country, and those who are more prone to listen to Rap.  Either way, I do think that those who equally like them both are kinda weird.

My hometown is Fort Payne, Alabama.  When I was born, the town wasn’t even on the map yet.  But Fort Payne had a secret weapon that would shortly change that for us- a country music band that by 1983 would be a force to be reckoned with: Alabama.  The lead singer’s son was in my grade (192 graduating seniors for the entire city) and Randy Owen and the other band members would often drop off their kids at school themselves.  And even today, my parents’ house is only a few miles away from a few of the band member’s houses.

Needless to say, I grew up listening to Country music.  Not only Country music though- it was just something that got thrown in the mix with everything else.  Sort of like the way country music is perceived in Australia and other foreign countries that have a large country music fan base.  It’s not so much a mindset that Country music is its own entity- instead, it’s just American music that happens to be recorded in Nashville and Southern-flavored.

The Closer You Get (1983)

And that’s what Country music is to me.  Just like any other genre of music- some of it’s really good, some of it’s okay, and some of it is pretty horrible.  Some artists are classier, like George Strait and Lady Antebellum; while there are also the self-proclaimed rednecks like Hank Williams, Jr. and Toby Keith.  And just for the record, I like certain Country artists from each level of the spectrum.  I’m not too sophisticated for “Let’s Talk about Me”, assuming the song is meant to be funny.

Something I have observed is that when you ask a person what kind of music they like, you’ll generally get an answer like this: “Oh, I like pretty much all of it- classic rock, oldies, Motown, hard rock, alternative.  I even like a little (Country or Rap), but definitely not (Country or Rap).”

The people who like a little Country music tend to be the ones that will not listen to Rap; the ones that tend to like a little Rap music typically won’t listen to Country.  In other words, both Country and Rap music are polar opposites of each other, but the thing they both have in common is that they are both on the edges of mainstream.  Of course, there are people out there who pretty much only listen to Country, or only listen to Rap, but I’m talking about everyone else- people like me.

Downtown Fort Payne

Of the two examples I mentioned, I personally am the kind of person that will say, “I even like a little Country, but definitely not Rap.”  It’s not that I don’t think Rap sounds good or that rappers don’t have real talent because they typically don’t play instruments.  It doesn’t even bother me that Rap songs often use the choruses of hits from the ‘80’s, instead of coming up with their own.

For me personally, the lyrical content of Rap music is largely irrelevant to my life.  It comes across angry, violent, degrading to women, and obsessed with material possessions (I’m overaware I’m not the first person to say that).  But for all the millions of Rap fans in the world, there are obviously themes that ring true and connect to their listeners.  Rap music is relevant to millions; I’ve just not one of them.

South End of Fort Payne

While I didn’t grow up on a farm and wear Wranglers, there is much I can relate to in Country music, like its common themes of love, family, God, and simple living.  And as content as I am to listen to John Mayer and Guster and Phil Collins on a 4 hour road trip, it’s always a given that I have to slip in a Brad Paisley album into the mix.  Country music provides a lyrical grounding for me in the midst of rock songs which I love, but are better left vague in their meaning (like pretty much anything by Stone Temple Pilots or Smashing Pumpkins).

So there’s my biased opinion.  Which is it for you, though?  Which musical extreme do you identify with most- Country or Rap?  (You can either answer quietly to yourself or in the form of a passionate and/or angry comment below.) I think it’s a pretty interesting and revealing question to ask someone.  Like simply asking a person “Batman or Superman?

25 thoughts on “Country Music vs. Rap Music

  1. I wonder how Christian music factors into this equation? The more I’ve grown up, I’ve realized good music is good music. Who cares what kind it is? I’d love a radio station that plays DC Talk, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Michael Buble, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Switchfoot, Bryan Adams, Sam & Ruby, Doobie Brothers, Eminem, or a new favorite of mine– Wolfmother. Afterall, isn’t that why we love to set our iPods to “random”? And perhaps that’s why JackFM is likable. They play a wide range of music (although it’s mostly, ok its ALL rock). Take away the lyrics to any song and all of the sudden there is no genre. It’s just music. So should lyrics define what kind of music it is? Good music is good music. So Nick, don’t be ashamed of your Taylor Swift album collection.

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  2. 1) I’d hardly call it a Taylor Swift collection- it’s just 2 CD’s. 2) If your mother is a wolf, does that make you the new current Teen Wolf? Are you related to Michael J. Fox or Jason Bateman? Which one? So confused right now!… Help, please!

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  3. I found this page doing a search on content differences between rock and country. I currently love country music and other times I love rock (and some rap but that’s not what I was digging for and actually tramples the subject here — sorry). I was wondering how much music connection is determined by life stage — during times of transition I drowned myself in either uplifting country or angry rock. Most times in life I happily bob along to pop and a mix of everything but then there are those times — maybe just 10% of life – the others are a must.

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    • You’re exactly right, Jodi. It’s funny how I’ve neglected the punk rock music of my teenage years. I didn’t care much for country music, but now I do. And it’s interesting to see how there are actually adults in their 40’s who love hard core “screamo”. Some people remain in certain stages of their life forever, I suppose.

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  4. I think that rap is the most lyrical type of music meaning that they put the most into their musical content. I could go out and write a country song and it would sound like any old country song but with rap you have to add metaphors rhymes and have it tell a story also. Im not into the gangster rap in which you’re referring to that only talks about sex and money and drugs.

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  5. First rap has changed from mostly violent or people speaking the truth Search tupac speaches, To MONEY SEX AND MATERIAL WISHES
    That is to dumb the people down where they mess up in life
    Country is Alright also But it is simple and down to earth Doesnt make people’s life hell because of something they dont have so they go out and want fast money and go to jail One thing rap does is give the kids a chance to get out of the ghetto but since there is alot of poor kids A FEW GET OUT

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  6. You can’t say that rap sucks. Truth is, mainstream rap sucks. Thats the music that is profanity and degrading women. The majoroty of Underground rap however, is poetry with music behind it . This is not just an opinion, its a fact.

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      • I’m not the same guy as above, nor do I prefer rap over any genre of music. I’m actually a really big jam/bluegrass/funk fan more so than any. But there are a few artists in hip-hop that are worth while (some of which i only have featured on a mixtape or two but they were good enough to mention):
        1) Immortal Technique
        2) DUB-L (I believe that is how he spells it)
        3)CRayz Wallz (or something of the sort)
        4) JS-1 (and almost any of the mixtapes/features he does)

        There is just a few and each one will have at least one song you can relate to or will reach out to you almost on an individual basis. Godspeed and good luck. Also, being you’re an Alabama native; Roll Tide!

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    • I have to disagree I used to be a gang banger and got in to a lot of trouble and the rap music is trash the people that listen to it are scum they are never gonna amount to much if they think that is cool country is a better way of living and mind set kids that grow up with this background are going to have a better chance in life gaurenteed!

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  7. If you ask me, i prefer country music than rap because country has a good tone while rap only talks about sex,violence,drugs and anything stupid. God bless country all the time!

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  8. I like both country and rap, but only like Eminem, Nelly and Jon Yong, but I also like classic country like George Jones and Loretta Lynn (and I’m only 15). I think the two are sorta the same in a way because they tell a story, mostly about life problems and such. But the rap I listen to doesnt cuss, I don’t put up with that.

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  9. I really like German rap. If you’ve got high testoserone-levels you will like this one, check it out on youtube: “Hirntot Gang” (Hirntot Posse)

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  10. Neither. Rock n´ Roll all the way brother. Bands like Motley Crue, Journey, Bob Seger, Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynrd (somewhat country), The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Electric Lights Orchestra, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Queen, REO Speedwagon, Kansas, Aerosmith, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Steve Miller Band. Those are just some off the top of my head, but you get the idea. That old time rock n´ roll just soothes the soul you know.

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