Rehab’s Danny Boone Says that Pop Country has ‘Gotten Out of Hand’

by Jonathan Howard

In a conversation with Outsider, Rehab’s Danny Boone opened up about their new album Sand Castles as well as all things music. Rehab is a unique group. They’ve been blending country, rock, and rap for the last 20+ years. It’s something that a lot of folks try to replicate, but the genuineness just isn’t there for every artist.

Of course, Bartender Song (Sittin’ At A Bar) might be the best example.

One of the topics that came up during our interview was how the group looks at pop country and pop music in general. They have kept blending genres throughout the years. Now, all you have to do is throw a snare and bass beat behind a country or southern rock guitar and you’re good to go. Mention that new truck or an ice-cold beer a few times and that might make the top-10 on the charts.

The obviousness of it all has become so apparent.

“It’s just turned into a template. Basically, all of that [pop country music], it’s weird… there’s people that still do good shit. But, as far as country music goes I’m just an old school [guy]. I don’t even like country music unless it’s old as shit. But, there’s some new shit I love too, but when it comes to country rap, I just think it’s kind of a weird thing.”

The singer-songwriter went on. He doesn’t mind when a good song comes out, but the problem is finding a good song.

“I don’t know it just got turned into a fiasco of an offshoot of a great genre and I don’t mind… a good song’s a good song. But come on man, shit’s gotten out of hand. Am I wrong?!”

The topic brought up another point that many are making. What defines country music?

Rehab’s Danny Boone asks, Why Isn’t T.I. Country Music?

This is the thing that gets at the core of what Rehab’s music is. Danny Boone, Steakknife, and Brooks Buford, the founders of the group, had a wide variety of interests musically. There isn’t one genre that can define the group’s music. Especially from one album to another. It’s something that this Outsider writer has decided to dub “trailer park music.”

It’s music that you listened to if you grew up in the trailer park. Midwest, South, it doesn’t matter. Country people might listen to country music. But, when I was growing up in and around trailer parks there were so many sounds. Metallica, Iron Maiden, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. Of course, some Merle, Willie, and others thrown in as well as newer artists at the time like Toby Keith.

If you grew up in the same kind of places I grew up then you already know this song, and probably by heart.

Why are some of these considered country and others aren’t? Danny Boone’s examples have a strong case for being “country music”.

“Because if you wanted to have country rap, why wasn’t T.I. and why wasn’t Goody Mob… how come white boys are country rap? What the f**k? There’s been motherf***ers from the country that’s been…and I don’t mean country, they were all out raising hogs or no sh** like that.”

Cee Lo Green is a good example. Southern rap from Tallahassee to Atlanta and even over into St. Louis. Nelly is showing what that looks like, to be a country rapper and do it well. Maybe there’s a change coming. But, for now, Boone’s point stands. What makes a country artist? I’d argue country people listening to them does that.