This past spring we all endured the playing of a rap/pop/country song infusion put together by Nelly and Tim McGraw. That song played and played and played (thanks to payola dished out to DJs and Stations) until your ears bled. Well, more is on the way via Tim's record company and in the face of a "brother" named Cowboy Troy, that actually raps to country music.
A new genre of rap has been born. Hopefully it will be a stillbirth.
Cowboy Troy Has High Hopes For Hick-Hop Debut
Posted on Sunday, May 15 @ 14:28:19 CDT by MusicMan
The Nashville division of Warner Bros. will release Cowboy Troy's first CD, 'Loco Motive', on Tuesday (May 17), and the "hick-hop" artist admitted to Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald it won't be easy selling his new sound - a country and rap fusion that some critics jokingly call "Crap". "To me, hick-hop is taking a rap lyric and putting together some sort of delivery using country instruments -- fiddles, banjos, acoustic guitars, occasionally a rock guitar," Troy said. "If given the opportunity to be heard on a large scale, it could do well. If I meet a lot of resistance in getting it played, then it may cause problems. I get a little concerned about things, not that I'm freaking out. I'm pumped about everything and looking forward to going out to the local store and buying a copy for myself."
'Hick-hop' pioneer Troy wields a unique brand
By Brian Mansfield, Special for USA TODAY
Meet Cowboy Troy, billed as "the only 6-foot-5 black rapping cowboy in country music."
Plays Chicken with charts: Former shoe salesman Troy Coleman capitalizes on “different.”
Cowboy Troy is the latest — and perhaps most commercially daring — act to come out of the Musik Mafia scene that produced multiplatinum acts Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich last year.
Troy — born Troy Coleman in Victoria, Texas — appeared on Big & Rich's double-platinum Horse of a Different Color album. He toured with the duo on last summer's Tim McGraw tour and wound up rapping during McGraw's set as well.
Big & Rich are co-producing Troy's album, tentatively set for release in May. I Play Chicken With the Train, a single that features country fiddles and hard-rock guitar riffs, is getting pockets of airplay, most notably in Michigan and Florida.
Troy's self-described "hick-hop" owes as much to the talking-blues country records of Jerry Reed and Charlie Daniels as it does to the old-school raps of Sir Mix-A-Lot and the Sugarhill Gang's Wonder Mike. "I grew up listening to country music, rap music and rock 'n' roll," says Troy, 34. "I figured, 'Why can't I take my favorite elements of all three and mix them into one style?' "
And Troy takes pride in being different. He's something of a Renaissance man — a University of Texas psychology major and professional wrestling aficionado who speaks fluent Spanish and started taking Mandarin Chinese lessons when he got bored with the story lines on Monday Night Raw. He also can tell what size and width shoe a person wears just by looking at his or her foot.
But Troy left his job at a Dallas Foot Locker last year after appearing on the Country Music Association awards show with Big & Rich and signing as the flagship artist of the Musik Mafia's Warner Bros. imprint Raybaw Records. (The acronym stands for "red and yellow, black and white.")
In a radio climate in which Big & Rich can sell 2 million albums and still struggle for a top 10 single, a rap record could encounter serious resistance. Warner Bros. Nashville chief Bill Bennett says early reports show Chicken splitting country listeners' reactions at almost exactly 50%.
"It's doing almost exactly what we thought it would do," he says.
Warner Bros. hopes a series of TV bookings — including Nashville Star and April's CMT Video Awards— will help country fans warm to Troy's style. CMT could begin running the Chicken video as early as this week.
"We're going to use TV to help the country audience understand that he's a country artist," Bennett says.
Says WBCT-FM program director Doug Montgomery: "I don't think what Troy's doing is any farther out than a lot of the Shania Twain stuff. It's just a little bit different."