Like so many of Nashville’s finest, Colt Ford is most famous for somebody else’s version of a song that he wrote. Yes, Colt Ford and his buddy — the now-famous Brantley Gilbert — penned “Dirt Road Anthem” in 2008. They recorded it, too, but nobody listened because it kind of sucked. This is their version of the song: Gilbert singing, Cold Ford doing what some folks might refer to as “rapping.”

So, yeah: Colt Ford is a big fat white dude that raps on country songs. Despite the fact that this is probably relatively uncommon — I’m not forgetting you, though, Bubba Sparxxx — it still seems cliche. As you may know, I’m a big proponent of the idea that rap and country are essentially the same genre of music, and it only makes sense that there is a Colt Ford out there trying to flesh out this connection in an extremely overt fashion. In fact, I’m genuinely surprised there are not more Colt Fords out there. But, again, nobody liked his song in 2008 and it went relatively unnoticed.

Then Jason Aldean recorded “Dirt Road Anthem” and put it on his 2010 album, My Kinda Party, and that shit went crazy. It was on the radio three times an hour. Entire rural villages were treated for Dirt Road Anthem Fever (DRAF). People that didn’t really listen to country music would ask people that did listen to country music things like, “hey, what’s that country song with the dude rapping in it?” And then Jason Aldean recorded a music video for the song in which he stands on a paved road and sings, because, country music.

So Colt Ford probably made a lot of money doing that and people in Nashville probably started thinking, “I wonder if this big fat white dude rapper would be able to collaborate with other mainstream country singers and if that would lead to more hits.” What has emerged is a bunch of marginal hits that are fun to listen to until Colt Ford starts rapping.

Take the “Drivin’ Around Song,” (Featuring Jason Aldean), for example:

His “rhymes” are arrhythmic, elementary, and generally stupid. But that hook is fire.

You’ll find similar results with his latest venture, “The High Life,” (Featuring Chase Rice):

In case you missed it, the last eight bars of the first verse go like this:

“No sleep gotta get to work quick
Good Lord that girl was worth it
That kiss sure had me buzzin’
That kiss got my boss cussin’
It’s alright, I’ma get this job one
Later on she’ll be riding shotgun
My life, high life is perfect,
My truck, my girl, all worth it” 

The lesson, as always: kissing your boss rarely works out.

Colt Ford is not good at rapping. In fact, his rapping consistently makes me cringe. That does not mean I think these songs suck — on the contrary: they have redeeming qualities that make them worth listening to. Namely, they are catchy and fun to listen to, like a good country radio song should be.

So if the songs are good and Colt Ford is bad at rapping, the next logical question would be: why is Colt Ford rapping on these songs?

And the answer, as always, is: country music, baby.

Colt Ford Chase Rice GIF

Happy Country Friday.