What if all the country dudes singing about spring break, pickup trucks, and cheap beer fully embraced hip hop, and not just its swagger? On King of Clubs, out today, Cowboy Troy—the 43-year-old African-American singer-rapper born Troy Lee Coleman III—answers that question like a man shouting from the saddle of a bucking bronco.
It’s not his first time at the rodeo: Troy, a member of the MuzikMafia crew that includes modern-era rebels like Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson, has released four other audacious “hick-hop” albums since 2002. He never had a hit like Big & Rich’s “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” the 2004 country-rap classic, and maybe never will. “Drink Drank Drunk,” the first single off King of Clubs, features B&R and a white rapper named Big Smo (aren’t there any “lil” MCs in country?), but it never took off with the “mothertruckers” and “Southern belles” it urges to jump around. (It’s gotten less than 6,000 plays on Spotify since last fall.)