Where do these lovely words come from? From a little tune called “My Medicine,” performed by country music’s latest addition, Snoop Dogg.
Yes, Snoop Dogg. The man known for “Gin and Juice” has recently made inroads into the country music world, a universe whiter than Elmer’s Glue. (And that kind of includes Charley “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” Pride, I think.) In addition to presenting at the Country Music Awards, he’s recorded the infectious “My Medicine” and has appeared on Larry King going on about how much he loved Johnny Cash and country music. (“Country musicians go through the same thing that rappers go through. You know what I’m saying? We express what we’re feeling over melodies.”)
When you get down to it, Snoop Dogg is right. You can find a lot of similarities between rap and country. The best versions of both have come from people who have really lived the life and have come up the hard way. Both genres embrace story songs and both camps are full of people who’ve overcome drug abuse, jail sentences and tortured pasts. Granted, Press music editor John Lomax suggested to me that hip hop has more of a Republican “let’s get paid” mentality than the populist country music vibe, but come on, Porter Wagoner wasn’t exactly selling the whole sackcloth and ashes look with his rhinestone suits, now was he?
Let’s face it. Is Snoop’s line in “My Medicine” (“Told young wifey, ‘I love ya honey but you gotta hit the streets, go and get my money’”) really that far off from Reba McIntire’s doomed teen prostitute in “Fancy,” who is turned out by her own mama to get food for the family’s sick baby? (“Mama spent every last penny we had to buy me a dancin’ dress…she said just be nice to the gentlemen Fancy, and they’ll be nice to you.”) Is Snoop’s declaration that “They say you can't buy me love, but you damn sure can buy me bud” too different from Merle Haggard’s “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink”? (“Ain’t no woman gonna change the way I think, think I’ll just stay here and drink.”) And Hell, when you read the line, “I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down,” you may be tempted to think that’s straight out of 50 Cent’s latest ditty, but it’s really from Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues.”
So sure, Snoop may not exactly be who’d you expect kickin’ it country style, but he’s country enough to me. As he put it, “Girl my love’s gonna last, just as long as my high…” Makes a girl wanna go get her washboard and git down, Hellz yeah, boyee. – Jennifer Mathieu