- So much of what we love about country music comes from people of color, and that's just the truth.
The first string bands in this country were enslaved people.
- Black folks have always made country music.
And to be clear, what we call country is really more accurately, it's more of an East Coast picking style of the blues.
(country music) Genre was always a construct of labels and radio to be able to divide and to market to different groups of people.
It was all American folk music, but they promoted this as hillbilly music.
Meanwhile, the music that Black people were making was called race records.
- The commercialization of music in this drawing of this color line, where Black people do race records and the white people over here doing this other thing, hillbilly was always set aside as this thing specifically for white people.
And so country music, as we fast-forward in time, it has grown out of that, and the people that have been put in place generation after generation in these positions of power, whether they're at country radio stations, at the CMA, at the labels, at the publishers, they are upholding that system.
Black people that have succeeded in this industry succeeded in spite of that.
(upbeat country music) - We have a very complex, sometimes scary, often times very dark, but real history that we need to revise and that we need to be honest about.
And so I wanted to contribute to this music that I love so much and to this genre that I've dedicated so much of my life to.
I wanna make sure that I'm helping and contributing, and telling the truth.
(upbeat country music)