There’s no denying the impact that rap, hip-hop and urban music in general have had on contemporary country music. It has practically become a whole genre in itself with those prominent beats and rapid-fire recitations taking over where there was once fiddle and steel. Heck, even traditionalist Joe Nichols has gotten in on the action.
Or has he?
Tagged onto the very tail end of his newest album, “Never Gets Old,” is a cover of the iconic Sir Mix-a-Lot hit, “Baby Got Back,” a longtime popular favorite in Joe’s live shows. And the dyed-in-the-wool country star has given it a spin like you won’t believe.
“I started playing that song as kind of a ha-ha moment on my band,” Joe tells Rare Country. “I did it by myself with my acoustic guitar, but the joke was on me because they joined in right away and started playing the song with me, and I kinda had to catch up with them and remember the words. It was a funny couple of moments there, so we kind of tightened it up as a band and started playing it as a thing in the show. Over the years it’s been popular. It’s funny, and it’s a different moment that gets people thinking, ‘These guys don’t take themselves too seriously.'”
With a few extra minutes in the studio as they were recording “Never Gets Old,” Joe’s producer, Mickey Jack Cones, suggested recording the tune with an “if it doesn’t turn out, no one will hear it, but what if it does” attitude.
“Of course, the band killed it,” Joe says, laughing. “They did extra steel guitar on there, which I love. It was such a funny moment for them. They were very confident and funny and laughing while they were playing.”
And as if that wasn’t enough, “Southern Mama” creator and comedian Darren Knight came in and did his own take on that incredibly famous “Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt,” intro. “It just makes the ridiculousness of that song that much more country,” Joe adds.
Yes, there is a steel guitar, which makes it about as opposite of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s version as it could be. Which doesn’t mean that the prolific rapper doesn’t appreciate it. Check out his starring role in Joe’s new music video.