From the sound of things, “Rich Men North of Richmond” has a bevy of rich men north of Memphis lining up to get Oliver Anthony’s name on a contract.
According to country star John Rich, who’s slated to produce the debut album from “Rich Men North of Richmond” singer Oliver Anthony, major country labels in Nashville are apparently “falling all over themselves” to lure the singer.
A great irony, Rich says, since if they’d scouted Anthony’s talent in the first place, he’d likely be just another staid pop-country star singing the usual pap that corporate labels put out.
For those of you who haven’t heard the song — and, really, where the heck have you been? — “Rich Men North of Richmond” is a lament about the Beltway elite and the damage they’ve wrought upon struggling Middle Americans with their condescending attempts to help.
The chorus basically says it all:
Livin’ in the new world
With an old soul
These rich men north of Richmond
Lord knows they all just wanna have total control
Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do
And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do
‘Cause your dollar ain’t s*** and it’s taxed to no end
‘Cause of rich men north of Richmond
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
Don’t even remember the last time a new song hit me like this
Be a shame if this anthem went absolutely viral
Oliver Anthony – Rich Men North of Richmond (FULL) pic.twitter.com/Qxm98Op9KI
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 11, 2023
Conservative activist Jason Howerton initially drew massive attention to the anthem, noting the impressive backstory behind Anthony’s career.
“In the past, Oliver was struggling with mental health & coping with alcohol. In depths of despair, just about a month ago, Oliver got to his knees & broke down in tears,” Howerton wrote in an Aug. 10 tweet. “Though he’s wasn’t a religious man, that night he promised God to get sober if he helped him follow his dream.”
“Oliver was about 30 days sober when someone reached out & asked him to come record a song for his YouTube channel. That song was ‘Rich Men North of Richmond.’ Within days, the song was going VIRAL on social media.”
Oliver was about 30 days sober when someone reached out & asked him to come record a song for his YouTube channel.
That song was “Rich Men North of Richmond.”
Within days, the song was going VIRAL on social media.
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) August 11, 2023
Anthony, who’s reportedly turned down $8 million offers and still lives in a camper without a roof in Virginia, credits his faith in God for making it through the dark times.
“I spent a long time being an angry little agnostic punk, and I remember talking about ‘sky daddy’ and ‘cloud papa.’ I would get so angry about the concept of God because I had sorta perverted what my vision of God was, because I looked at the religion of man as God and not God himself,” Anthony said in a recent interview.
“But there is a divine Creator that loves you. And sometimes it takes falling down on your knees and getting ready to call things quits before it becomes obvious that He’s there. But He’s always there. You just gotta look out for Him, and listen for Him.”
Part of that is not compromising — and Rich, the country legend who has been brought in to produce Anthony’s debut, noted the irony over the woke industry figures that generally ignore touchy works like “Rich Men North of Richmond” suddenly tripping over one another to get Anthony’s John Hancock on a deal.
“All the major record labels in Nashville are falling over themselves to lure Oliver Anthony,” Rich tweeted Wednesday.
“The irony is, if he would’ve been signed to a label when he wrote this song, none of us would have EVER heard it! His song fried their brains. Their greed is overriding their wokeness.”
All the major record labels in Nashville are falling over themselves to lure Oliver Anthony. The irony is, if he would’ve been signed to a label when he wrote this song, none of us would have EVER heard it! His song fried their brains. Their greed is overriding their wokeness.
— John Rich🇺🇸 (@johnrich) August 17, 2023
Another country legend, Travis Tritt, seconded the notion:
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) August 17, 2023
And that’s the thing: The reason why “Rich Men North of Richmond” and its brother in controversy, “Try That in a Small Town,” have struck a chord is because these are the kids of songs the entertainment industry would prefer remain unsung.
If you’re Sam Smith, you can cavort around the stage at the Grammys as an adipose, nonbinary version of Satan and nobody’s going to bat an eye. Lil’ Nas X can simulate sex with the devil in the music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and the left will celebrate it.
But take aim at the Beltway elite? That’s a thoughtcrime that can’t go unpunished — unless, of course, it makes scads of money and headlines. Then, Nashville will do everything in its power to turn Anthony into a bankable commodity by making him over into another bland singer-songwriter churning out meaningless chart-bait.
The good thing is, he doesn’t appear to be buying it. Part of it, surely, has to do with his scruples — but another part likely has to do with the awareness that, had he gone down that path in the first place, no one would have ever heard of Oliver Anthony.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.