As we continue to push the envelope of what the country music landscape looks like, one thing is clear; it is imperative that Black artists are not bound by the constraints that their white counterparts have never experienced.
Popular country artists like Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, and Walker Hayes have enjoyed the creative freedom to incorporate a multitude of sounds and influences that reach far outside of the box that would be traditionally considered “country.”
This diversity in the sound of white men in country music has been welcomed. Simultaneously, Black artists fighting their way into the genre have been warned against straying too far away from what an adience would accept as country music.
Appropriation in country music has long been celebrated, while the melding of genres from artists who’s identities authentically overlap these spaces has been shunned.
Chiysnti’s viral popular hit “Big Ole Wagon,” which features Dominique Hammons on the fiddle, gives us a taste of a side of country that we’ve been missing. In order to form a complete picture of what Black Country music can look like, this fun cross section of hip hop and and southern sound must be embraced and celebrated.
A producer and songwriter as well as an artist, Chiyanti was aware she was pushing boundaries with “Big Ole Wagon.” “That honestly was a concern in the back of my mind, like this isn’t traditional country. Will they even accept it as country, or welcome it in the genre? But I just said I don’t have time to worry, just do it. I’m a creative, I can’t limit myself , if I want to do it, I’m going to do it,” the entertainer told Black Opry.
Like it or not (and we love it), Chiyanti, Dominique Hammons, and “Big Ole Wagon” are the future of country music.