Rednecker

Album: This Ole Boy (2018)
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Songfacts®:

  • On his debut single, Hardy - a native of Philadelphia, Mississippi - is proud of his country cred and boasts, "You might think that you're redneck, but I'm rednecker than you."

    In the lyrics, the singer portrays himself as a small-town-living, truck-driving, beer-drinking, Slim Jim-eating, NASCAR-watching, country boy. Folks weren't quite sure whether the song was satirical or an example of genuine down-home pride, but that's why it works, according to Hardy.

    "It works on a lot of different levels," he told The Boot. "For me as an artist, however you perceive it, if you like it or if you don't, that's fine with me. I've had people say it's the funniest song they've ever heard. I've had people ask if it's this sort of backhanded slam on people. I've had people quiz me on how small my town is."

    "It really does - it works on every level," he added. "I think that's something that's really cool about it. As long as it works, it works."
  • Hardy wrote this with Nashville songwriters Jordan Schmidt and Andy Albert at a cabin in Colorado. The trio was sitting around trading jabs when the idea for the song popped out. Hardy told The Boot: "We were laughing about something. One of the guys said, 'I'm rednecker than you.' We were just going on and on about something stupid, and kept saying that.

    There's a thing with songwriters, where, if somebody says something either profound or very unique, and they say it loud enough to hear - if you're in a room with a bunch of songwriters, you'll always catch another person looking around to see if anybody heard it. It's a really funny thing. So anyway, we kinda laughed, and then we all got real serious for a second, and we were like, "Oh s--t, we need to go write that, right now."
  • The songwriting process was unique because all of the lyrics were written before any of the music. "We actually went upstairs in the cabin - didn't take an acoustic guitar or anything. We were just so excited to write the lyrics to see what we could make of it, and we ended up writing the entire lyric that night, probably in about 30 minutes. We wrote it with no music, no guitar. We had a little bit of melody in the chorus, but literally, I've been telling people that we wrote it like a Dr. Seuss poem," he explained.

    "And the whole time we were writing it, we were like, 'This is the dumbest thing.' We thought it was really cool and unique, but at the same time, we didn't have any music to it, so we just didn't know what to think of it. Once we turned it into the music, it was like a rock song, you know? We were like, 'Wow, this is something special.'"
  • If Hardy had waited to pursue a record deal, this could have been a Blake Shelton single. By the time he wrote this, Hardy had already gained a reputation in Nashville as a hit songwriter, co-writing tracks for Morgan Wallen ("Up Down"), Chris Lane ("I Don't Know About You"), and Florida Georgia Line ("Simple," "Talk You Out of It"). So when the song was completed, he sent it out to be pitched to other artists, never thinking he'd record it himself. When word came back that Shelton wanted to cut it, Hardy had signed his own record deal and decided the song would be perfect for his debut single. It was a gamble turning down an established star, but it worked out for Hardy. The success of "Rednecker" attracted lots of big-name artists for his 2019 mixtape, Hixtape, Vol. 1, and he ended up bagging Shelton with another tune: "God's Country."
  • This peaked at #23 on the Country chart. It also bubbled under on the Hot 100 at #118.
  • In the music video, directed by Justin Clough, Hardy and his country songwriting pals (Brett Tyler, Benjy Davis, and Joe Clemmons) let loose on a farm in Cottontown, Tennessee, with plenty of redneck activities like mudding, mattress surfing, and beer drinking.

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