Yee-Haw or Yee-Naw

Pro-Country music argument

Opinion by MaryAmbrose

Whether it is boating on a summer lake day or working on history notes at my desk in the middle of November, country music is always present in my life.  I can always count on some country music to boost my mood or get me through a long assignment. 

Unlike many other genres of music, it is easy to understand the lyrics of country music. The artists tell a story and bring a multitude of emotions to the listener. Songs also teach life lessons about growing up, love and other important topics.

Although country music is seen as just one genre, there are different types of country music. If I am feeling the more generic country music, I listen to Garth Brooks or Eric Church. However, usually I am feeling pop country. Pop is the perfect touch to country music. My go-to artists for pop country music are Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Brett Eldredge. 

Country music is special because it fits in so many scenarios. Although many see country music as a genre played strictly on the Fourth of July, I love listening to country music 24/7. I listen to it while I clean my room, work out, bake, drive, do my homework and walk my dogs. It can range from barely noticeable background music to songs that require a jam out session singing at the top of your lungs. 

When chill country music is played in the background of a store, at the pool or while working on something, it is not distracting. The beats of chill country music are catchy but not overwhelming. When it is a fun pop country song, it is perfect to dance or sing to.

Country music is unique and can bring the perfect flare to any scenario. It is always important to pay attention to what artists you listen to and what they support. In every genre, not all artists are going to practice what they preach, and it is up to the listener to determine which artists are worth listening to. 

It is also important to listen to the lyrics, be aware of what they mean and support artists who have good intentions and values. 

Overall, country music is unique and most country songs have meaningful lyrics and catchy melodies that can fit any situation.        

Anti-Country music argument

Opinion by NinaMcMullen

It seems like over the last couple of months my feed has been filled with country music concerts, the CMAs, cowboy hats and $5,000 ostrich skin boots. Before I get into my adamant dislike of country music, let me make something clear: 

I like SOME country music. I think classic country artists like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and even more modern country artists like Tyler Childers actually make good and honest music. 

What I have trouble with is the appeal of modern country artists that, in reality, are just millionaires who have never lived the lives they claim to know so adamantly in their music.

The artists like Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw or Keith Urban walk and talk with a country twang and play concerts in rural America all while wearing an outfit worth thousands of dollars. 

From the perfect creases in their cowboy hats to the starched, pristine jeans and the newest edition of the biggest brand name in the Cowboy Boot Industry; it’s all a lie. 

These country music superstars know the trigger words of their audiences so well. They are pandering perfectly to what the working class cowboy wants to hear. 

They sing these songs with such conviction only to hop on their private jet and move to the next town over. 

Not to be too harsh on Luke Bryan here, but he is a perfect example. According to Forbes, Bryan earned $45.5 million in 2020, a historically low year of earnings for most, even with his Proud To Be Right Here Tour postponed. He grossed an average of $1 million a city. 

On top of this unfathomable amount of money, he continues to rake in $12 million a season for judging on “American Idol.” 

While being rich is technically just a product of his success, his friend, Morgan Wallen, has another reason to be generally disliked. In February 2021, Wallen was caught using a racial slur on camera. 

He was initially suspended by his label and criticized by the public. He was uninvited to award shows and radio stations stopped playing his music. 

Wallen’s use of the “n-word” at the height of backlash over the murder of George Floyd sparked a conversation about racism in country music. 

Country music has long been associated with hateful symbols such as the Confederate flag, which serves as a brutal reminder of America’s painfully racist and bigoted history. 

Beyond the harmful symbols associated with the genre, country music finds its roots in black culture despite the segregation that is still present today.

According to Dina Bennett, a senior curator at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, country music traces its roots back to the slave ships of the 17th century. 

It was there that captors forced Africans to bring instruments from their homeland. One of these instruments, which plays a prominent role in the sound of country music, is the banjo.

Overall, there is still a big culture of intolerance within the country music scene. Many artists are becoming less and less genuine and proving to be purely a product of their label and what their label thinks people want to hear. 

While there are some redeeming qualities about the genre and certain artists that I do find iconic, the genre as a whole turns me off because of the troubling history that comes with it. That being said, I still bump Dolly Parton on the drive home.

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