I’ll admit it. Not only do I love country music, but I hate rap. I don’t like the heavy bass or the fact that I can’t understand half the words or that the words I do understand are pretty nasty. So there’s nothing objective about this article. Except that what I’m about to say is objectively true: country music is heads and tails better than rap. And I’ll prove it.
A Rich Tradition
Arguably, country music began in the Appalachian region of the United States. Though a region ravaged by poverty and often defined by a lack of education and sophistication, it is nonetheless an area that brought us some of the most beautiful sounds of music. With instruments like banjos, mandolins, and fiddles, early country music represented the soulful bluegrass sounds that grounded the genre. Sounds that were as robust, and as mournful, as the hallowed ground on which they were played.
The Appalachian region is also grounded in other aspects of American history. It is a place where bootlegged liquor and whiskey runs fought against Prohibition. A place where coal mining created an economic boom that resulted in one of the most economically depressed areas in the US. And a place where traditions such as family, self-sufficiency, and tight-knit community are valued even to this day.
It is in that place where country music was born. And it is in the place where country music still retains its roots. No other American genre has a history as rich or as uniquely American. No other genre has such long arms into history (at least the history of a country still so young as ours is).
Certainly not rap, which was essentially created in the 1980s, practically a full 100 years after country started. And though rap may be American in its innovation, it hardly represents much of what America has to offer. It’s more a sad statement on a small part of what America is. And certainly has no rich history, nor embraces much of anything.