Here at The Shotgun Seat, we love music that pushes boundaries outside the “traditional” genre lines. But enough is enough when it comes to this latest trend: remixing of country hits + tacking on a rapper for pop airplay.
We can essentially blame the birth of this fad on Nelly. The rapper, who dominated the charts in the early ’00s, teamed up with Tim McGraw in 2004 to create “Over & Over,” a genreless, monster crossover track like no other. But Nelly wasn’t done with country yet: in 2013, he experimented with the genre, once again, on a little track called “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line.
In similar fashion, all the labels in Nashville are trying to cash in on the “Cruise” formula. This summer has spawned FOUR horrid pop remixes of country hits we wouldn’t wish on anyone. Riding off two pop hits, “Talk Dirty” singer Jason Derulo joined Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll”, Mr. 305 himself, Pitbull, hopped on to a remix of Jerrod Niemann’s “Drink to That All Night,” Brantley Gilbert nabbed T.I. for a verse on “Bottoms Up,” and the worst perpetrator of them all: Jake Owen’s “Beachin'” featuring T-Pain and Mike Posner.
Remixing country songs for pop radio is nothing new. Ever since the heyday of Shania Twain, alternate versions of country songs have been pushed to pop radio with small changes–typically replacing the banjos and fiddles with electric guitars and synths. These days, however, country music is more mainstream & pop sounding than ever. Each of these remixes sound completely forced, unnatural and should have never been made.
We understand the music industry is a business but this is just desperate. At some point, it stops being art and when we have T-Pain bellowing his autotuned vocals over Jake Owen’s breezy chorus–that’s where we draw the line. This isn’t how we want country music represented in the mainstream–acts like Sam Hunt, Kacey Musgraves, and Hunter Hayes have a handful of tracks that would perform well on pop radio in their original forms.
Luckily, none of these tracks are catching fire on the Top 40 charts and this trend might see a quick death sooner than later. We truly hope that’s the case because “Somethin’ Bad” featuring Iggy Azalea is not something we want to hear in our lifetime.