Billy Ray Cyrus Releases New EP, Covers LL Cool J

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Listen to Billy Ray Cyrus’ newest EP. The lyrics to “Mama Says Knock You Out” may sound familiar. The vibe suggests otherwise.

Cyrus, the country music star, hyped his new song on Twitter late Thursday. He posted a video clip showing him shooting a trick shot on a pool table. There’s a guitar propped up over one of the pockets.

In the video, Cyrus says: “Hey everybody, my new album out right now, the Singin’ Hills Sessions-Mojave I’m going to knock you out. Boom. Good night sweet prince.” After the pool shot, he leaves the room.

Billy Ray Cyrus Countrifies Hip Hop

The EP features five songs, including the remix of LL Cool J’s classic hip-hop song from the album with the same name, “Mama Said Knock You Out.” LL Cool J’s album was released three decades ago. And it became an instant classic for the hip-hop star turned successful actor.

In LL Cool J’s video, he was dressed as a boxer, singing from the ring. The song was in-your-face powerful.

LL Cool J won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1992. The album was double platinum.

Flash forward to 2020. Cyrus’ version isn’t so forceful. Rather, the song features banjos as Cyrus sings the lyrics. Rolling Stone said that Cyrus put his “Kentucky spin” on the version. The background tone, the review said, “is brooding.”

“I’ve always loved that song — as well as fellow Kentucky native, Muhammad Ali — and just the concept of persistence and believing in yourself,” Cyrus said in a statement. “Countrifying it was a joy and I feel like this song is the next segment of my circle following ‘Old Town Road.’”

“My dad always said, ‘If you don’t know what to do, stand still — the answer will come to you,’ and it seems like the universe might have been nudging us to find answers,” Cyrus said. “I’ve found that music is the way I’m able to connect with so many people and spread light, especially during live shows, but right now this music has become my relationship with the world outside my front door.”

Last EP Was Released In January. Will It Be As Successful As “Old Town Road”?

Cyrus released The Singin’ Hill Sessions – Sunset in January.

“The Singin’ Hill Sessions-Mohave” was released Friday.

He’s hoping this new work will be as successful as his most recent collaboration with Lil’ Nas X. Their song, “Old Town Road” spent 19 weeks on top of the “Billboard” Top 100 list. The song owns the record for the longest-run as No. 1.

The last time Cyrus released new music, it was in collaboration with Lil’ Nas X. “Old Town Road,” the country-pop song rose to the No. 1 spot on the “Billboard” Hot 100 list. It was there for 19 weeks, breaking the record as the longest-running number-one song in history.

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