Keeping It Real?
I don't know. Is this "contract" really specific to country music? Couldn't you change a few words and say basically the same thing about fans of globe-trotting millionaires from Metallica to Pink? How many major stars in any musical genre live and write songs about a life that really is just like the life of their audience? Are country stars "pandering" any more than rap stars who -- having long since left the projects for a mansion in a gated community -- deliver to their suburban, middle-class audiences a vision of inner-city life that, at the very least, dabbles in the mythical? What's the difference between Little Big Town's pride about where they're from, and 50 Cent's pride in where he's from? I was about to say maybe they're both keeping it real. But I think you could just as easily they're both playing make-believe -- which is probably closer to what popular music is really about in the first place.