One of my favorite comedians, Kamau Bell, has a line in his routine where he says, "Country music is the blues minus slavery." Zing! But Juba Kalamka, our resident music critic at ColorLines, took the opportunity to explore what it means for Darius Rucker, a Black man and music vet from the folk pop scene in the 90s, to have turned to country music. And Juba is patient and brave enough to knock down cultural assumptions about who belongs where in the music world. Juba writes:
Rucker himself seems reticent (and, I suspect, at this point in his career, a bit tired) to be the de facto Representative of the Race for country music, having experienced similar dynamics during the mega-success of his former band. Though one might expect that the comments at AOL’s country music news site, TheBoot.com, would be of the stereotypic Southern-fried racist variety, the bulk of them are congratulatory and mostly insightful, with one Black and several white commentators giving minute histories of Black influence in country music and several white commentators acknowledging the immensity of his crossover success in a genre not particularly friendly to Black folks or 45-year-old newbies, let alone its veteran hit makers.
Head over to ColorLines.com to catch the rest of his analysis and insights!