Joe Rogan Reacts To Luke Combs “Fast Car” Backlash: “That’s Always Gonna Happen… Doesn’t Mean It’s Real”

Luke Combs Joe Rogan country music
The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe Rogan weighs in.

Between Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert and Luke Combs, the country music world has endured quite the media firestorm in the past few weeks. Of course, whenever country music is getting mainstream media coverage, it’s always for something negative.

And when the media creates a firestorm, you can always count on Joe Rogan to offer some commentary on the topic.

On a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, perhaps the most popular podcast in the world that boasts an audience of over 11 million per episode, Joe sat down with marketing professor Gad Saad to discuss a whole mess of topics… including Jason Aldean and Luke Combs.

It’s no secret that Luke Combs (a former guest of Joe’s) was the subject of some recent criticism for his cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit “Fast Car.” Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find a half a dozen articles about Luke Combs, the inherent racism of country music, and why his smash cover is problematic.

Originally written and recorded by Tracy Chapman, “Fast Car” was released in 1988 as the lead single from her 1988 self-titled debut studio album. At the 31st annual Grammy Awards in 1989, she won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Fast Car,” best contemporary folk album for Tracy Chapman, and best new artist.

“Fast Car” was also nominated for record and song of the year, while Tracy Chapman received a nomination for album of the year.

Fast forward to 2023, Luke Combs releases a cover of the song on his latest album, Gettin’ Old, and it completely blows up, becoming the biggest song in the world at the time, even charting higher than Tracy’s Grammy-winning version did back in 1988.

Tracy become the first black woman in country music history to have a solo-write #1 single on the charts, and at nearly 160 million streams on Spotify alone, is getting PAID. I mean, we’re talking about millions of dollars on the way. Get a bigger mailbox Tracy, you gonna have some big, fat checks in it.

Also, think about all the young country fans who were not around in the late ’80s and early ’90s when Tracy was winning Grammys, who now will be exposed to her music when they otherwise probably never would have discovered her.

And Tracy agrees:

Chapman noted to Billboard that she was “happy for Luke” and the success of his cover that has given “new fans” a chance with her song:

“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there.

I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”

Even former President Barack Obama put Luke’s cover of “Fast Car” on his annual summer playlist.

Sounds like a win-win for all involved, right?

So then why the controversy?

Well, as Joe pointed out… Twitter outrage doesn’t necessarily make something real. A point we should all do well to remember as we continue to navigate this fast-paced world of social media outrage.

When Gad mentioned that people where upset with the cover, and accusing Luke of essentially stealing this incredible song from Tracy, who is a black woman, Joe said:

“But that’s always gonna happen… you’re always gonna have a certain amount of people that say that, it doesn’t mean it’s real.

And apparently she’s happy that he’s doing it so everybody is good. And it’s a great song, he didn’t even change the gender, like when he sang it… he says ‘checkout girl.'”

Luke confirmed that he wanted to stay as true to the original as possible, and actively chose not to change any lyrics of the song… and I’d say he did a damn good job.

Here’s a clip of the full conversation:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock