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RR Cred

Mike Sudhalter  |  July 9, 2009

Justin Moore has some RR Cred

In Rap Music, they call it 'Street Cred.' Everyone wants to show their tough, and more importantly, that they're real. Whatever genre it is, being non-authentic is a big no-no. And I understand that a big part of Rap is representing where you're from and telling the truth about the hard times.

But country music has another form of bragging. I call it RR Cred - or Rural Road Cred. So many songs from Jason Aldean's "Hicktown" to Little Big Town's "Boondocks" and now, Justin Moore's "Small Town USA" are all about small town life.

And while it's great to celebrate that, the songs all come out sounding the same - "I'm from a small town, we work hard, we have good values." We've heard it a million times.

With that said, Moore's new song is somewhat of a breathe of fresh air because of his unique sounding voice, very much traditional country, and the fact that you can believe it coming from a Poyen, Ark. (pop. 272) raised singer.

I looked up Poyen, Ark. and it's part of the Little Rock Metropolitan area. Perhaps some people who live there commute to big city jobs in Little Rock. Are they giving up on the small town life?

Overall, I like the song, but Moore has one line that seems kind of narrow-minded: "Some people leave, and then come back; I never wanted any part of that." People leave for different reasons - to attend college, get better job opportunities. You can't resent that. Moore went to Nashville to chase his dreams, and while he may still live in Arkansas (not sure if he does or not), he has that luxury of living in Arkansas and commuting back and forth for his recording opportunities. Some don't.

And the term, 'small town' is relative. I often tell people I'm from a small town - Sharon, Mass. (pop 16,000) near Boston. Because of the fact that it's near Boston, there is big city influence. I'm not sure if you can say that about Poyen, relative to LIttle Rock. But my guess, is no.

And now I live in Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S. But where I live (and the surrounding areas) have a small town feel. More so, than where I grew up near Boston.

I wonder if these small town pride anthems are a fad or here to stay. And if they are part of an artist's quest to establish Rural Road Cred.

:: Posted at 2:04 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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