Seemingly out of nowhere, RMR came onto to the scene with the release of “RASCAL”, a trap rendition of Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road,” which instantly became a viral hit. In an email to the FADER, RMR wrote:
“I grew up on country and rap music, and this song is the interpretation of what the new genre should sound like.”
Continuing to push the threshold of these genres, RMR’s 4th Qtr Medley flips Matchbox Twenty’s “3AM” on its head, includes a “melancholic rendition” of Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later,” and reimagines the Goo Goo Dolls’ 1998 hit song “Iris.”
While some of these songs that are being reinvented are cult classics and might instigate different (hot) takes, I think what RMR is doing here is extremely important. Given that elements of hip-hop have started to become incorporated into mainstream country music in recent years, it feels exploitive given hip-hop has historically been treated with contempt from most of the music community.
This feels like a means of reclaiming not only style but the narrative quality of hip-hop that is far too often overlooked.
It seems like the easiest way to illustrate its importance is to highlight Youtube user Barakallah Fik’s comment beneath the video:
as a black kid that grew up listening to all types of music, dude is what ive waited on my whole life. someone who could put my struggles and culture in to a version of music that i grew to love….so many sounds, so many emotions, so much art
I quite enjoyed this Tiny Desk (Home) Concert from Shirley Collins. I must admit, I hadn’t heard of Shirley Collins prior to watching this, but now after watching this and reading NPR’s description, I need to learn more about her.
“Her life story took the sort of twists you hear in the songs she sings, in her case, a broken heart, a painful divorce, and the loss of her voice. For 30 years, she couldn’t sing.”
Enjoy this charming performance.