[Editor's note: Country Time is a new biweekly column for our sister music blog in Seattle, celebrating that city's favorite musical genre: mainstream country.]
Will this mark an Obama-like moment in the genre's
evolution? All signs point to yes.
Eight years ago, Richie was big in Germany, which is a polite way of saying he couldn't quite recapture his superstar status in the States (which, in turn, is an even more polite way of saying he couldn't book a gig singing the national anthem before a charity golf tournament in Delaware). So what's a brother to do to rejuvenate his career back home? Simple: Go country. Rucker did it, so surely Richie could.
It's not fair to call Nelly washed up, but he's hardly on the vanguard of the rap game, and it's always better to reinvent oneself from a position of power, as it projects something less unseemly than bald desperation. Of all modern rappers, Nelly's shown the least fear of sing-songy rhymes, hails from Missouri (basically the south), released an album called Country Grammar, and has already collaborated with Tim McGraw. Put on a Stetson and meet us at the Opry, baller.
6. Lenny Kravitz