In a new interview with Prager U, Big & Rich star John Rich details his journey to country music, his start with the ’90s country band Lonestar, how Jason Aldean cut a number of his biggest hits, being a patriot and a dad, and more.
But perhaps the most intriguing part of the interview is when John discusses the changing political landscape of country music, and the entertainment industry in general, arguing that the Nashville music machine has caved to “wokeism” and that artists no longer have the true freedom to be themselves.
Using stand up comedy as another example, he says that country artists essentially have to choose between bending the knee to the “woke mob” or standing up for their beliefs and risk losing their career:
“The wave of wokeism that’s hit this country and especially the entertainment business, that made its way to Nashville. So these artists are being told by their publicists, their managers, the heads of the records labels:
‘Hey, we know you think these things about America, that you’re against this woke stuff that we do (the don’t call themselves woke, of course) but we know you’re not for that, but hey, Don’t even think about putting out a post that pushes against that, don’t say x,y,z on your microphone on stage, no you cannot record that song because it says this.’
And they completely just control artists and the artists only has two choices: Do they wanna go have a career, it’s been their dream, do they play the game, go forward and just don’t step on these landmines?
Or, do they go out and hit the trip wires and light the place up,? And lose their record deal, and not get invited to the awards show, and radio won’t play them, but… basically erase their career. That’s what they’re faced with.
Is there freedom in art in Nashville, total freedom? Absolutely not.”
He also went on to say that an artists like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Loretta Lynn couldn’t exist today:
“If you’re wondering why it seems like people are pulling back and not giving you the full deal, there’s no Johnny Cashs, or Waylon Jennings, or Loretta Lynns, there’s a good reason for that… none of those people would have been allowed to exist today.
Of course, Johnny Cash was very outspoken about a number of social issues including being anti-war about Vietnam, pro Native American, and pro prison reform, but nevertheless, what do you think?
Is John correct in saying that country music has falling to the woke mob, or is he way off base?
Let us know…
Jason Aldean Says “If You’re A Conservative In This Business, You’re Not Allowed To Speak”
It’s no secret where Jason Aldean stands on the political spectrum, but according to him, he isn’t alone.
He’s just one of the few Conservative country artists that are willing to speak up about it.
It’s also no secret, he’s not a fan of President Joe Biden…
Last fall, his wife Brittany shared a picture of herself rocking an “Anti Biden Social Club” t-shirt from the “Unvaxxed Collection” of the apparel company called Daddy T 45, an obvious reference to the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.
She also wore an “Impeach 46” shirtand shared a picture of her kids, Navy and Memphis, rocking “Hidin’ From Biden” shirts.
Jason later called out Governor Gavin Newsom for California’s mandatory vaccine mandate for middle and high school kids to attend school, and followed it up with a post stating that he would never apologize for his beliefs.
But in a more recent interview with Audacy’s Rob + Holly, Jason opened up on his fear (or lack thereof) of being canceled for his outspoken Conservative beliefs, and his newfound role as the “Conservative country spokesperson” so to speak, citing that he’s never been one to start shit for the sake of stirring the pot, but also that if nobody gonna stand up for opposing views, he’ll be the guy to do it.
“I think people know where I stand politically, I’m not a guy that’s just going to go out there and start trying to stir the pot just to stir the pot. If there’s something I want to say, something I feel like I want to address, then I’ll do that.
At some point it’s gotten to where if you’re a conservative in this business, you’re not allowed to speak. Trust me, I have a lot of friends in this business that think the way I think, and a lot of them are really scared to stand up and say anything for fear of backlash or whatever the case may be.
To me it’s hard for to go lay my head down at night with a clear conscience, feeling like I’m a coward for not saying the things that I want to say or I feel like need to be said.
And if people don’t agree with him, he says that’s fine… but at the end of the day, he says that being a country music star doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have thoughts and opinions about what’s going on in the world:
From that, let the chips fall where they may. People are gonna have their opinion about whatever I say or think, and that’s completely fine, you don’t have to agree with me. I don’t expect everybody to agree with me.
But I also have a voice and an opinion just like everybody else and there’s times when I feel like I don’t have a choice but to speak up or say something, because I feel like nobody else in the industry or not a lot of people in our industry do that for fear, and I feel like somebody has got to be that guy.
And if it’s me, then that’s fine.”
Jason’s wife Brittany also launched a limited-edition, pro-Conservative clothing line, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Special Forces Charitable Trust, an organization dedicated to helping military families.