As part of his latest compilation album, George Strait uses timing that was both impeccable and ironic. Although the three-disc set mainly contains his hits, the country megastar included a protest song. His new anthem, “Kicked Outta Country” says a few things about the current state of country music and why he feels a bit exiled from it.
“King George,” as he’s known, can pretty much say anything he damn well pleases. With 60 No. 1 hits and an enormous body of work, only a few stars can come close to rivaling him. And it seems that the living legend is now levering his famous voice to protest a few things.
In “Kicked Outta Country,” Jones makes the case that country music discards legends after their prime. In an interview with Rolling Stone Country, Strait laid out his case for the song.
“It was kind of a poke at country radio and it’s because it is harder for me to get ’em to play my records now. But I knew that was going to happen at some point and I always said I was going to accept it, there’s nothing I can do about it. And now it is happening and I’m trying to accept it.”
You can listen to the song below.
What’s interesting about the George Strait’s new anthem is that it doesn’t just give protest; it gives perspective.
Though Strait is clear about the fact that legends aren’t listened to, he’s also sage enough to recognize that it doesn’t really matter. People still buy their music, put on their records, and pay their respects. In the end, the lack of radio play doesn’t diminish them.
He ends the song, including himself in the mix. “Well, It don’t really matter, ’cause I ain’t gonna change / Cause getting kicked outta country, won’t hurt a thing.”
Strait also shared with Rolling Stone that though he struggles to accept getting less airtime, he isn’t resentful. He recognizes how difficult it is to make it, and that music evolves.
“It’s so hard to make it in this business. I’m just saying that – if I ever say anything that even sounds bad about it, it’s just that it’s not my taste in music. Everybody has their taste. But to be able to have success in this business is hard and so if you’re able to do it, more power to you.”
Strait co-wrote the song with Jamey Johnson. It’s one of two new songs on his latest compilation album, Strait From the Box: Part 2.