The country music scene is no stranger to stirring the political pot, and breakout star Oliver Anthony’s hit single “Rich Men North of Richmond” is no exception. As the song has weaved its way through conservative circles, Anthony has decided it’s high time to set the record straight.
“It Was Funny Seeing My Song at the Presidential Debate”
In a recent candid video shot from the confines of his truck cab, Anthony candidly shared his surprise at seeing his song featured in the first Republican presidential primary debate. “It was funny seeing my song at the presidential debate,” Anthony remarked with a grin, adding, “Because I wrote that song about those people.”
Anthony’s message is clear: his song is not a conservative anthem but rather a reflection on class struggles in America. “It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news trying to identify with me like I’m one of them,” he said.
Anthony lashed out against the right-wing political community trying to adopt his message, stating categorically that his song underlines the theme of class struggle.
His sentiments are bound to surprise many. For instance, figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene have celebrated the song as “the anthem of the forgotten Americans,” using it to rally support and critique President Joe Biden’s policies.
His Song Touches on a Universal Truth
Anthony quickly countered these claims, explaining, “This song has nothing to do with Joe Biden; it’s a lot bigger than Joe Biden.” He insisted, “That song’s written about the people on that stage, and a lot more too, but definitely them.”
Anthony’s recent video delves deeper into the controversy surrounding his unexpected rise to fame. “I see the right try and characterize me as one of their own, and I see the left try and discredit me, I guess in retaliation,” he explained.
Yet, at its heart, Anthony believes his song touches on a universal truth, highlighting the class divide and defending those at the bottom. “ALL of my songs that reference class DEFEND THE POOR,” he emphasized.
Anthony explains that his message in “Rich Men North of Richmond” did not endorse any particular political agenda. Instead, the artist aimed to shed light on the struggles of the working class, whose earnings are taken by taxes while the rich continue to prosper.
“Rich Men North of Richmond”
Anthony’s meteoric rise to the spotlight can be traced back to August 8, when his song “Rich Men North of Richmond” was featured on a YouTube channel dedicated to Appalachian musicians.
Quickly racking up over 20 million views, by August 19, the track shot to No. 1 on Apple Music’s U.S. and global top 100 charts.
But why has this particular song struck such a chord? Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, the moderator at the GOP debate, posed this very question to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The answer for Anthony is simple: It gives a voice to the voiceless, capturing the essence of the American struggle. “People are just sick and tired of being sick and tired,” he revealed.
Anthony Is Determined To Stay True to His Roots, Using His Art To Highlight the Struggles of the American Working Class
Looking forward, the Farmville, Virginia native plans to continue using his music to express ordinary Americans’ feelings and concerns. Despite the whirlwind of attention, he remains grounded. “I don’t want to go on some roller-coaster ride and come off a different person,” he shared.
What’s clear is that Oliver Anthony’s voice has resounded deeply in a nation eager for authenticity. While political pundits may attempt to co-opt his voice, Anthony is determined to stay true to his roots, using his art to highlight the struggles of the American working class.
As the buzz around “Rich Men North of Richmond” continues, it is evident that Anthony’s voice, representing the struggles and dreams of many, will not be silenced or misinterpreted.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / pathdoc. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.