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Country music star John Rich says woke culture in the industry began as early as 2008

John Rich said his hit song "Progress" would not have been released if he had a major record label contract.

Published: April 12, 2023 2:16pm

Updated: April 12, 2023 2:38pm

Country music star John Rich thinks the seedlings of so-called "woke culture" began to appear in the country music industry as early as 2008.

"Which would coincide with Obama’s election," Rich told Just the News in an exclusive interview. "I was told not to do certain interviews with outlets like Fox and not talk about certain subjects."

Barack Obama is a Democrat and the country's first black president. 

Rich says that about the same time Obama took office, a lot of label executives started being replaced with ones who had never been in the country music business. 

"The old Nashville guard started to be replaced with executives from L.A or New York who weren’t even country music fans," he said. 

This year's CMT music awards, held earlier this month, received online backlash after singer Kelsea Ballerini performed her song "If You Go Down (I'm Goin' Down Too)" with drag queens from "RuPaul's Drag Race" surrounding her. It was described as "out of touch" with country music fans. 

Rich released his hit song "Progress" last summer, which debuted on TRUTH Social and topped the Apple charts when it was released. He explained that alternate platforms like TRUTH Social and Rumble are the way to go for artists to release music.

“They have to be," he emphasized. "Tom McDonald can’t get a record label and he uses platforms that haven’t kicked him off. He’s gotten millions of views per video. On the country side of things, I’m kind of in the same boat."

Tom McDonald is an independent rap artist who recently released a song with Rich titled "End Of The World."

“Any artist that has a record label is not going to be able to say everything they want to say. Period," Rich said. "I tell people a hundred times: if I had a record deal, you never would have heard the song 'Progress.' "

Rich said that he has some new songs coming out later this year, with some being titled "Earth to God," "Shut Up about Politics," and "I'm Offended."

He said that he has an incredible fanbase and he knows how to reach them. 

"I’m one of those rare guys and my fan base is consistent and pretty big and I know how to get to them," he concluded.

Charlotte Hazard is a reporter at Just the News. Follow her on Twitter for more stories.

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