Big Smo

Kuntry Livin' – 2014 (Elektra)

Reviewed by Dustin Blumhagen

See it on Amazon

CDs by Big Smo

Over the past year, bro country has brought the blend of hip hop and country music to the mainstream. Artists like Big & Rich and Bubba Sparxx mixed the two genres years ago, but groups like Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean have brought it to the top of the country charts and into popular culture. The problem with a musical fad reaching mass consciousness is that it brings the watered down copycats out of the woods to try to cash in with as little talent as possible. Which brings us to Big Smo...

His idiotically (and potentially offensive) titled album kicks off with an anthem that celebrates hard work ("Workin'"). The irony is that this guy looks like he could play the stereotypical hillbilly meth head in a backwoods horror movie. He definitely does not look like a hard working country boy. There's a boring song about a bumpy road (called "Bumpy Road" of course), a song about the backwoods ("Down in the Backwoods") and a song about how country he is (I'm So Kuntry"). The lyrics are so over the top, it almost seems like a satirical album, but unfortunately there is nothing remotely intelligent about this music. Big Smo appears to actually believe the terrible rhymes that he spews. There are rare moments when his raspy voice approaches Everlast territory, but his weak lyrics fall flat and are more targeted at drugged out Juggalos than music fans of any kind. Perhaps disappointed that he's the only male country artist who hasn't yet appeared on a Colt Ford track, Darius Rucker appears on "My Place," which won't do anything to silence those who argue his legitimacy as a country artist.

This is the aural equivalent of the pig scene in "Deliverance," uncomfortable to witness, and it eats away at a piece of your soul.