Every once in a while, the worlds of Hip-Hop and Country come together. Most recently, we got Lil’ Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. Then some years back, we saw Ludacris appearing on a remix of Jason Aldean’s Dirt Road Anthem, which led to Aldean being featured on Luda’s “Ludaverse” album. Lastly, we can go back even further to the song “Over and Over,” a collaboration between Nelly and Tim McGraw. Andy Mineo’s “Anything But Country” is not a collaboration with a country artist, but uses the genre as an example to cleverly illustrate a vital topic.
Feel of the Song
Throughout the song, Andy tells a few stories that help his case on the topic, but he also puts a fun spin on the chorus. The catchy lyrics and upbeat tune have had me singing the song long after I’ve paused the music and close my preferred music app. At only three minutes long, it is a short song, but the message Andy wants to share is clear and concise.
The song has such a fun vibe to it that I sometimes feel bad for it getting stuck in my head because of the depth of the topic. However, I know that is the tone Andy was going for. The direction of the song is humorously fueled by irony, which we will get into when discussing the meaning of the lyrics. This song is masterfully crafted in that it somehow happens to be fun and yet still contains a meaningful message.
Lyrics and Meaning
The song is titled “Anything But Country” because it seems to be a common phrase when you ask certain people what kind of music they like—I’ve personally heard people say it before. Andy starts off the song sharing an anecdote about a conversation he had with a girl in high school that opens up the song in which he asks her what kind of music she listens to. Her response is “Anything but Country,” which sets the stage for the rest of the song.
Leading into each chorus, Andy talks about how he chose to form his own opinion and that we may hear him bumping some Kenny Rodgers.
“Fast forward twenty years later
You might catch me bumping Kenny Rogers in the player
I got a little older, formed my own opinion
Stopped letting other people do my own thinking”
Andy then shares in the next verse another story about when he went to visit his father. His father asks him if he had a girlfriend to “never bring home a black one,” which is sadly a phrase I’ve also heard people use in the past—this is the point where Andy shares the real message and warns us against being judgmental.
“The irony is: the closest thing I had to a dad was a black man
They say don’t judge a book by its cover
And never judge a man by his skin
And never judge a song by its genre
Our hearts are the monsters that we should really fight against”
Each verse deals with how those around him formed his opinions. The first verse told us how he decided country music was “wack” based on that conversation. The second verse shares how his original opinion about black people was formed from comments his Dad made to him.
Throughout the song, Andy uses the genre of country music as an example of all the things we place judgement on. “Why don’t you give it a try?” asks us to form our own opinions and think for ourselves instead of letting the world shape our views for us.
Honestly, we could spend a whole article on what it means to judge or be judged, but the song itself doesn’t go into the weeds on the topic; we won’t do that here. However, we can take a look at scripture for some biblical application the song holds for us.
On judging others:
Titus 3:2-7 NLT “They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But— When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”
Forming our own opinions:
Galatians 1:10 NLT “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
These two scriptures I chose to share represent the integrity we should be carrying as believers. It is essential not to look down on anyone and to show the same love, grace, and mercy Christ gave us. The inability to form our own opinions and the regurgitation of the words, thoughts, and phrases others speak makes us look more like followers of people instead of Christ.
From my own experience, breaking away from your comfort zone is the best way to apply this lesson. Listen to some music you usually don’t listen to or have a conversation with someone you might not talk to very often—the results may surprise you. Most importantly, be yourself and don’t let the world decide the things you shouldn’t like and the people you shouldn’t talk to.