Matthew Berinato

Kane Brown: “People Still On Merle Haggard & Johnny Cash Can’t Stand Me”

You mean… actual country music fans?

In a recent interview with the Evening Standarda daily newspaper across the pond in London, Kane Brown shared some of this thoughts on country music, his pop collaborations, and even acknowledged the fact that some people don’t like his music.

Regarding his collabs with Marshmello, Khalid, Jon Legend, Nelly and others, he said he’s steering directly into the pop world.

“Everybody already calls me ‘pop country’ so I just want to go ahead and claim that title. I want to have songs on pop radio and I want to have songs on country radio. I don’t see why that should be a problem.”

Everybody already calls you that because you are. You weren’t lumped into some group by people that don’t understand your music, you’re a pop singer Kane. A pop singer who actively wants to have songs on pop radio. And for some reason, country music is allowed to be the vehicle you use to get them there.

But then he also acknowledged his haters, who he called “red dirt country” people.

“There are people who are, you know, ‘red dirt country’, who are still on Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash, and they can’t stand me. My fans love all genres of music.”

So people who like actual country music can’t stand you? After you just got done saying how you want to make pop music? What am I missing?

And what does still on Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash mean? They’re on the Mount Rushmore of the entire fucking genre. Are music fans still on The Beatles, Elvis, Bob Dylan, Tupac, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra too? Put some respect on their names Kane.

Although, I’m not even convinced Kane Brown knows what red dirt country even is. It kind of sounds like he uses “red dirt” as a blanket term for anything not mainstream, anything traditional, or classic. You think Kane is listening to Turnpike? Fuck no.

The Red Dirt scene, birthed in Stillwater, Oklahoma in the ’70s, eventually went on to feature artists like The Great Divide, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland, Stoney LaRue, and Turnpike Troubadours. And while many for the Red Dirt scene would undoubtedly look at Merle and Cash as influences, Merle and Cash are not “red dirt” artists. Author Josh Crutchmer is coming out with a book next month all about the Red Dirt scene, we’ll send you a copy Kane.

So yeah, Red Dirt Country fans probably don’t like your music and anybody still on Haggard and Cash (whatever that means) probably don’t like your music either, but why would they? You make pop music and you admit that you want to make more pop music. And if the people who are still listening to a couple of the greatest country artists ever don’t like your music, then what does that say about your music?

Then again, I’m not even sure how many Red Dirt fans even give a shit about what goes on in mainstream country, and I’d venture to guess that plenty of them never even heard of Kane Brown. Just like Kane has never heard of Cody Canada…

Of course, he’ll stick a song like “BFE” in there once a year to remind mainstream country music why they’re still playing him. But other than that, what allegiance does Kane have to country music? None. Respect for country music? None.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to listen to some actual Red Dirt Country.

Whiskey Riff is the most entertaining country site…ever.