I got started on this, like so many other things, listening to a Planet Money podcast. They were discussing how songs become hits and mentioned the song Cruise by the country group Florida Georgia Line. Originally it did ok on the country charts but became a mainstream hit when re-released with rapper Nelly.
While watching the video for the remix, I was frustrated by the portrayal of two cultures as more or less separate, as if black people and white people are completely different with only minor aspects of their societies overlapping.
In Cruise, they aren’t just in separate cars, they are in separate types of cars with Nelly driving a (what I think is) Porsche and the guys from Florida Georgia Line driving pickup trucks. There’s one woman of color in the video and she’s portrayed as Nelly’s. The guys from Florida Georgia Line don’t indicate any intereste in her and, in the original video, there are no women (or people) of color.
Over and Over is even worse, since the entire video is shot split screen. As if Nelly and Tim McGraw didn’t even want to be in the same location to shoot the video.
Though Nelly seems to contribute the most often to these mash ups, the award for most egregious duo goes to Brad Paisley and LL Cool J. There’s no official video for Accidentally Racist but the lyrics alone suggest that these two have nothing in common.
The only example of a hip hop/country song where everyone seems to all be the same is Country Folks by Bubba Sparxxx, Colt Ford & Danny Boone. Spoiler alert. Everyone in this video is white.