Country rap is a style of music that combines hip-hop vocals with the harmonic language and song structure of country music. Also known as country hip-hop or hick-hop, it has fostered Billboard Top 40 hits by artists like Lil Nas X and Kid Rock.\n\nThe country rap scene has produced niche stars, including Lil Nas X, Cowboy Troy, Upchurch, Struggle Jennings, Big Smo, Bottleneck, the Lacs, Young Gunner, Jawga Boyz, Moonshine Bandits, Danny Boone, and Lenny Cooper. It has also prompted collaborations between rappers and country stars, such as Ludacris teaming with Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line teaming with Nelly, and Meghan Linsey teaming with Bubba Sparxxx.\n\nAs a relatively new genre, country rap has evolving characteristics. \n\n1. __Hybrid style__: Country music instrumentation is paired with a hip-hop beat and a mixture of singing and rapping.\n2. __Southern roots__: Country rap music frequently emanates from two Southern music capitals—Atlanta, known for its hip-hop scene, and Nashville, known as the hub of country music.\n3. __High rankings for a niche genre__: Country rap songs have done well on both Billboard country charts and Billboard rap charts. Country rapper Colt Ford is the only artist of the genre to have topped both of these charts. Some country rap hits, like Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” have even topped the Billboard Hot 100.\nThe country rap genre took off in the twenty-first century.\n\n- __Early country roots__: The roots of country rap trace back to the days when country singers like Johnny Cash and Charlie Daniels would speak-sing lyrics to popular songs like "A Boy Named Sue" (1969) and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (1979).\n- __Influence of Kid Rock__: Detroit hard rocker Kid Rock demonstrated how hip-hop and country music could fit into the pounding style of rock 'n' roll popular in the late 1990s. The 1999 song “Cowboy” helped shape country rap for years to come. Other influences from the era include the 1998 Mo Thugs single "Ghetto Cowboy."\n- __Hip-hop and mainstream pop look to country music__: Two years after Kid Rock's "Cowboy," Bubba Sparxxx issued a debut album produced by Timbaland. It helped merge hip-hop beats with tropes of Southern country hits.\n- __The country music scene launches its own rappers__: In the early 2000s, Texas rapper Cowboy Troy surged into the mainstream country scene with support from country stars Big \u0026 Rich.\n- __Average Joes Entertainment__: In 2008, country rapper Jason Brown (known by his stage name Colt Ford) and producer Shannon Houchins founded Average Joes Entertainment, a record label dedicated to alternative forms of country music. Some of the biggest country rap acts of the 2010s recorded for Average Joes Entertainment, including the Lacs, Bubba Sparxxx, Lenny Cooper, Demun Jones, and Moonshine Bandits.\n- __Pop success__: By the late 2010s, country rap had become a recurring genre on the Billboard Hot 100. Notable hits included Young Thug's "Family Don't Matter" (2017) and Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" (2019).\nIn recent years, the country rap scene has yielded several pop music stars.\n\n1. __Colt Ford__: Ford is the only country rapper to top both the Billboard country music chart (with 2012's *Declaration of Independence*) and the Billboard rap chart (for 2014's *Thanks for Listening*).\n2. __Bubba Sparxxx__: A mainstay in country rap, Bubba Sparxxx has teamed with stars of the genre like Colt Ford (who rapped on "Country Folks"). He has also teamed with people outside the traditional country rap scene, such as Timbaland, who produced his 2001 single "Ugly."\n3. __Nelly__: Nelly was well-established as a rapper when he decided to delve into country music with 2004's *Country Grammar*. The record featured mainstream country singer Tim McGraw, who sang the hook on the single "Over and Over."\n4. __Lil Nas X__: Lil Nas X introduced country rap to many Americans thanks to his single "Old Town Road," the remix of which featured 1990s mainstream country star Billy Ray Cyrus.\nBecome a better musician with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Reba McEntire, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, St. Vincent, Itzhak Perlman, Tom Morello, and more.\nThe fusion of hip-hop and country music has existed in some form since the 1980s.