"Written for my own intellectual enjoyment, this essay explores cultural boundaries, race, and class.
Hip-hop and country music stem from two distinct delineations of blackness and whiteness, most often positioned as diametrically opposed and mutually constitutive. How then do we understand the emergence of what the Wall Street Journal calls “hick hop”, country music with hip hop verses, hip hop language, hip hop posturing and even occasionally actual hip hop artists rapping in country songs?
I argue that to be astonished by the hip-hop country crossover is to not understand the history of “race” music or the contemporary reality of poverty among rural whites. White poverty may be invisible to policy and dominant culture but it is increasingly visible to poor whites. Hick-hop represents the contestation and navigation of this invisibility."