I have just found a new musical genre. It is called Hick-Hop. Over my career I think there were certain things I did that I would call intrapreneurism. Being an intrapreneur is being a creative person revising company processes, allowing the company to do things better. The intrapreneur, just like the entrepreneur, is able to see the ways things are, recognize its shortcomings, and then create and implement a new was of doing things. Some would say I was a bit weak on the implementation, but I did enjoy criticizing old and creating new ways of accomplishing things. I still do.
Now we have a new music genre that I think is entrepreneurial. Hick-Hop is performed in “swamp-like-off-road-vehicle-parks.” It is a mash-up music offering that combines country and rap. In addition it adds mud. The three top performing artists, if that is what you want to call them, are Colt Ford, Lenny Cooper, and LAC’s (Loud-Ass Crackers).
It is my understanding that this venue has become quite popular. The popularity has come in spite of reducing overall record sales and the specific hatred of country music traditionalists. The fact is this new genre is an entrepreneurial result of a changing industry. “Record sales have tanked nearly 60% since their peak in 2000, with the proliferation of outlets offering free music or at a nominal cost.” Concert revenue is becoming a bigger percentage of band income. Hick-Hopping usual occurs at what is called Mud Bogging.
Walmart and other big retailers are also becoming more important in the ability to reach new listeners. “Big retailers like Walmart have also become a way for artists to reach millions of listeners without record or record-label deals.” Walmart is increasingly buying records directly from musicians. Thus 10% of total music sales in the U.S. are at Walmart, which allows for smaller artists to enter a huge market. This is creative destruction of the old system.
This creative destruction leads to more mash-ups of genres that speak to specific need. You take a bunch of people who like to go mud blogging, which has been popular for years, and add some popular music, like Hick-Hop, and you have a “fun” weekend. This world now has its own music, and even its own magazines. “Mud Life sells about 70,000 copies a year, thanks in part to its ‘Mud Girl of the Month’ feature.” This world has its own “Club Mud,” and throws weekly parties from Missouri to Michigan. The names of people involved with this venue are Average Joe, Cody, and Bubba.
Hick-Hop is popular with the LAC’s selling nearly 200,000 albums and an additional 25,000 singles on ITunes. Although I still think America is in trouble due to its love of Televised Wrestling and Roller Derby, Hick-Hoppers are cautious with using dirty language in their songs. “We never killed nobody, so we can’t rap about no gangster stuff.” These are people who just want to have fun “Kickin Up Mud.” I hope they get a little smarter though, listen to one of their lyrics, “Everyday get stuck in a big mud hole/ just sit right there and watch the sun get low.” I think there is more to life than this.
Bottom line, this is an entrepreneurial response to a changing world. Is it for everyone? Probably not, but I would like to attend a Mud Bogging event some time just to see what goes on. With names like Mud Digger King and truck bed strippers, how can you go wrong. Just kidding! This is entrepreneurship creating a new market, but we’ll see how long it stays around, or if it will end up being a new reality show on FX.
And that is my thought for the day!