Chuck Liddell is in the music video for “Small Town Throwdown” by country musicians Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett.* I’d like to talk to you about this video as well as country music in general. First, the video. It opens with the three country singers shooting guns at three bottles. After the first two fellas miss their targets, the third guy hits all three with the smallest gun. It’s a metaphor for America. I’m sure of it.
After shooting their three targets, the young, rich white guys decide they need to get their party going. So Brantley proceeds to have the greatest text message exchange in history with a hot lady.
That’s all this girl needed to be convinced to skip work. That’s it. YOLO, written out in full. Sorry Stuffy Event in the City, but you’re not going to have any bartenders tonight. Can you blame the ladies? Just look at that picture. Dude is blinged out with more trinkets than Mystery the pick-up artist. But wait… have you seen his microphone? That’s right – BRASS KNUCKLE MICROPHONE. This guy covers himself in more goofy shit than a TGI Friday’s. And his friends wear skinny jeans. That’s country.
Now to the part where Bekka calls in to work.
First of all, she waited nearly 3 hours before texting. That’s a dick move, but more importantly, can you imagine calling in to work like that? Why wouldn’t you text your shitty non-excuse immediately. This girl is never going to work another stuffy event in the city again. Oh, and that’s Chuck Liddell. Later in the video, they will refer to him as “Chuck” so presumably, he is playing himself. Chuck Liddell is hosting a stuffy event in the city. Chuck Liddell does not seem like the type to host a stuffy event in the city, but maybe someone asked him and he said, “you only live once.”
So two hours later, Chuck Liddell’s SUV pulls up to the end of this dirt road where the party is taking place. How does he know where to go? No clue. Who is left hosting the stuffy event in the city? No clue. Not that this matters. Now Chuck has to deal with the country party’s crack security staff. Yup. An unknown SUV pulls up to a gathering with contentious people inside and they send a text. And we have now seen Brantley Gilbert text while driving and performing a concert.
When Chuck Liddell and the three country musicians meet, Chuck explains that they ruined his event. You know, his stuffy event in the city. The one he is currently skipping to confront gun owners in the middle of nowhere. At this point, Justin Moore, a 5’7″ man in a cowboy hat with a denim shirt tucked into skinny jeans, punches the former UFC light heavyweight champion in the face. Having spent years suffering brain trauma, this calms Liddell and he joins the party. He even dances…
As for the stuffy event in the city, it has been rescheduled for a shitty non-country day like “Monday.” (They discussed Sunday, but that is a day for prayin’.) And now…
I’ve been listening to country music lately. Pitch Perfect is no longer my top guilty pleasure. Blame my brother. He wore khakis and listened to classic rock through high school, then went away to college and somehow came back head-to-toe in camouflage, listening to country music. How you leave our small town in Mid Southern Upstate New York and come back more country, I don’t know, but here we are.
Over the last couple years that music has slowly crept into my life. At first I resisted, but I eventually started to like it. Like everything these days, it started ironically. It was just all so stupid. The first song that really broke through was Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried.” I enjoyed it like a bad action movie. It was so stupid and on the nose and perfect. Here’s how it starts:
You know I like my chicken fried
And cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio on
Dude. I fucking love that shit. The thing about jeans is a bit odd, but still, you can’t really argue with jeans that fit correctly. And the song goes on like a checklist of country music tropes. In the third verse, out of nowhere, he salutes the troops. In a song about fried chicken and beer. It’s really amazing. What’s not to love about country music? It’s got everything.
America!? Reliable pickup trucks? Not needing material things to be happy? Drinking on a plane? Being super tough? Affordable and disposable party drinkware? Chewing tobacco? Supporting the troops? Drinking beer with Jesus? (I still can’t believe this is real) Chilling? Friday nights? Squirrels water skiing? The Internet and the cast of Seinfeld? College football?
If you’ve got a problem with any of the things on that list you can GET THE HELL OUT OF AMERICA! Just look at those things. It’s like an SEC tailgate checklist. Parks & Recreation nailed it. Chipp McCapp was perfect. That’s all country music is – pandering to a catchy beat. The music panders so hard you can’t help but nod along. (“I once rode in a pickup truck and later enjoyed a beer whilst appreciating a beautiful woman!”) You take something common people love – America, beer, girls, having the day off – strum your guitar in an agreeable way and you’ve got a great country song.
I’m not the first person to be attracted by the siren song of country either. Nelly, Ludacris, Pitbull, Hootie, and Aaron Lewis have all been lured to the dark side. However, I may be the only person on the Internet who started listening to modern country pop.
Take this new video from very tiny person Ariana Grande (She’s approximately 9/10ths of a Justin Moore) that hit YouTube last week. It takes place in space and features rocket breasts destroying a robot. It still makes more sense than the “Small Town Throwdown” video. And it has twenty-times as many views. Country fans are not on the Internet. Nicki Minaj has 13 videos more popular than Florida Georgia Line‘s most popular video and 15 videos more popular than Blake Shelton‘s most popular video. Taylor Swift, of course, is the exception to the rule.
Odds are, country music fans have no idea that their favorite artists are even making music videos. And that is a horrible shame because that means they have never seen Brantley Gilbert – or Chuck Liddell or Kate Upton or Blake Shelton – try to act. It’s an amazing thing and it’s on the Internet. When they get wireless in the sticks they should really check it out. Wait, that’s a great idea for a song.
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[*Editor's note: We contemplated adding an Oxford comma here, then realized that this is a post about America.]