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Jason Aldean, ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ Feat. Ludacris (Remix) – Song Review

Jason Aldean Ludacris
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

The unusual pairing of Ludacris and country star Jason Aldean at the 2011 CMT Awards was so successful that the performers have now released a studio version of the genre-meshing song.

‘Dirt Road Anthem’ was already a Top 10 hit on the country charts before Luda got involved. The reflective tune features Aldean rap-singing about bonfires, booze and the good times of his younger, wilder days growing up in Georgia.

The ‘How Low’ rapper comes in during the second verse to give his own memories about the hot summer days of Georgia. Providing guest rap verses is an art, and few are as good at it as Ludacris, who knows how to pack a punch into a few short lines.

Luda doesn’t patronize by tossing in references to George Strait or other country artists we know he doesn’t listen to. Instead, he name-drops the Gambler, Kenny Rogers, a guy respected by fans of all music genres:

Reminiscing on the good times, water balloons, super soakers / Wet t-shirts, women in bikinis, Kenny Rogers, penny loafers / Smoke blowin’ out the window, and all my problems are solved / Just feel that summer breeze, lay back, kick it and enjoy the ride.

“Ludacris absolutely killed his verse of the song,” Aldean says in a press release. “He name checks Kenny Rogers and talks about drinking cold beer … That’s pretty country, if you ask me!”

The pairing of these two Georgia natives works far better than anyone could have expected. Both performers are able to stay true to their roots, while finding common ground in the memories of partying and hanging out with girls.

The most interesting thing about this remix is that it’s not aimed at Top 40 radio. While Aldean easily could have replaced the banjo and slide guitars with rock guitars suitable for the pop audience, he leaves in place the twang of the original recording. Artistry wins out over mass commercialism!

Back in 2004, Nelly and Tim McGraw teamed up for an unlikely duet, and that came more than 10 years after Tammy Wynette’s awesomely bizarre collaboration with British rappers the KLF. So these rap-country mash-ups are rare. If Aldean and Ludacris have convinced others to think outside the box, we’re all for it.

Listen to Jason Aldean’s ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ Feat. Ludacris (Remix)

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