Following the release of his new album, Born Here Live Here Die Here on August 7, Luke Bryan is opening up about how his music has played a role in the rise of R&B and hip-hop inspired country music over the last few years.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Bryan explains how he grew up listening to '90s country artists along with rappers who at the time were starting to become more popular.
"Let me paint the picture: I'm a small-town kid, and somehow I listened to Alan Jackson, N.W.A, the Beastie Boys, Garth Brooks and Heavy D & the Boyz," Bryan says. "I think my generation, as far as being a country kid, was one of the first to have these forms of music really start integrating."
Early on in his career, Bryan found that his mix of pop-country connected with a young audience. "I would go play college bars, honky-tonks— a thousand people dancing, partying their ass off, spraying beer," he shares. "And the second I got offstage, the DJ would play the biggest hip-hop songs in the world, and everybody wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots and Wranglers with dip rings, they were all out there grinding and humping one another. And nobody ever had a problem with it. So 'Country Girl (Shake It for Me)' kind of does all that. So does "That's My Kind of Night." It's almost like a touch of a hip-hop song with a guy with a real country voice singing it."
At the time, Bryan didn't realize he was paving the way for a new type of country music, he was just trying to connect with his fans.
"I didn't know I was gonna open up another avenue," Bryan says. "And you know what? There'll always be people who say I ruined country music. But I was driving home from downtown Nashville yesterday and I heard Kane Brown on pop radio with Swae Lee and Khalid. I'm like, 'That's interesting.'"
Born Here Live Here Die Here features 10-tracks including his singles, "Knockin' Boots," "What She Wants Tonight" and his latest No. 1 hit, "One Margarita." Other songs released ahead of the full album include the title track, "Born Here, Live Here, Die Here" and "Build Me A Daddy."
Along with the full album release, Bryan also shared the new music video for the title track, "Born Here, Live Here, Die Here." Check it out below!
Photo: Getty Images