A lot of today’s country music artists aren’t too fond of the term “bro country,” but that doesn’t mean fans aren’t. Stars like Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean allegedly hate being put under the label, and want to be seen as just “country music artists” but it’s hard to do such a thing when some of their music sounds so different from the country classics we’re used to from George Strait and Dolly Parton.
Bro-country is defined as a sub-genre of mainstream country music originating in the second decade of the 21st century. It is a general term for styles of country music taking influence from 21st-century hip-hop, hard rock, and electronic music, with lyrics about trucks, beer, and scantily clad women.
It’s obvious that the “bro country” music genre is now a part of mainstream country music nowadays, and has grown in popularity with younger listeners everywhere. Below is a list of the top 5 bro-country songs out there. Do you see why they stand out?
5. “My Kinda Party” (2010), Jason Aldean
It just seems like Aldean is trying to be the king of summertime, bro-country hits, but don’t tell the other artists on this list that. Adding some bro-country to his 2010 hit song “My Kinda Party” the catchy words about bonfires and drinking seem way too relatable for people to not enjoy simply for the fact of reminiscing. We even put this track on our ‘Best Summer Country Songs,’ list.
This second Aldean track on this bro-country is list is a song with an up-tempo country rock beat all about a guy who’s “worked all week” asking a girl out for a tailgate party and bonfire, then asking her to stay the night with him afterward. If that doesn’t scream hot, what really does? The song’s mixture of hard rock guitar riffs, catchy flow, and electronic sound screams bro-country.
Learn more about “My Kinda Party” here.
Learn more about Jason Aldean here.
Read the lyrics for “My Kinda Party” here.
4. “Country Girl Shake It For Me” (2011), Luke Bryan
What’s bro-country without Luke Bryan? As the definition of the subgenre states, most of his songs are, in fact, about trucks, beer, and scantily clad women. “Country Girl” just happened to be one of his first ones, and still a huge fan favorite. He does take a little offense to being defined by the word “bro-country,” though.
“I feel the initial term ‘bro-country’ was created to be kind of a little degrading to what’s popular, to what country artists are doing right now,” he told Cleveland.com.
“It’s frustrating because whichever artists may or may not get labeled as that, they’re well beyond that,” he adds. “For people to call me the father of it, well, whatever. It just seems like a term that was invented to cheapen me as an artist.”
We aren’t trying to cheapen him as an artist. People love his songs and love him. People love bro-country songs. We see nothing wrong with giving his tunes a bro-country label.
Learn more about “Country Girl Shake It For Me” here.
Learn more about Luke Bryan here.
Read the lyrics for “Country Girl Shake It For Me” here.
3. “Cruise” (2012), Florida Georgia Line
Even though Florida Georgia Line once told news journalist Dan Rather they don’t even know what bro-country is, they are definitely one of the bands at the forefront of it. Their hit song “Cruise” was just the first song from them that helped define this genre of music and mix a more southern “hip-hop” sound to country music. The remix also features rapper Nelly.
This tune is incredibly catchy and has its references hovering around smoking, drinking and Victoria’s Secret being no secret anymore, making it onto almost every young country music fan’s playlist the year it was released.
This isn’t the only bro-country song from the band. It seems like creating this sort of music is their thing. Their tracks “Get Your Shine On” and “This Is How We Roll” featuring Luke Bryan are great bro-country tunes, too.
Learn more about “Cruise” here.
Learn more about Florida Georgia Line here.
Read the lyrics for “Cruise” here.
2. “Bottoms Up” (2013), Brantley Gilbert
Brantley Gilbert’s “Bottoms Up” grabbed the second spot on our list because of its bro-country lyrics and the rap part accompanied with it from southern rapper T.I. While older country music fans may not have liked the song because it has some rap in it, newbies loved it.
Tailgates, Daisy Dukes, Bonnie and Clyde and parties beneath the moonlight are all elements of this popular song from 2013, but the twenty-something singer’s unique delivery added a fresh coat of paint. Not only does he write his own songs, but he avoids any gratuitous “Uh-Uh” or Yeah-yeah” grunts. We’re looking at you, Luke Bryan. Gilbert’s delivery is a sort of melodic narration, like Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” where he’s more talking than singing.
“See you and me ridin’ like Bonnie and Clyde / Goin’ 95 burnin’ down 129 / Yeah, lookin’ for the law while I push my luck,” he sings to begin the song full of heavy guitar. Gilbert keeps it cool throughout the whole song, making it almost the best bro-country tunes out there.
“Throwin’ on down, rock this quiet little country town yeah / Drop a tailgate on your truck / Find a keg and fill your cup / Kick it on back, pretty little mama lookin’ at you like that / Make you wanna slide on in like girl what’s up / Tonight it’s bottoms up,” rings the chorus.
Learn more about “Bottoms Up” here.
Learn more about Brantley Gilbert here.
Read the lyrics for “Bottoms Up” here.
1. “Dirt Road Anthem” (2010), Jason Aldean
Who doesn’t like to cruise around in their ride when the weather’s nice or like to think about those parties you went to during summer as a teen? Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” not only allows you to flashback to those days, but it was also one of the first hit country songs, other than Nelly’s “Over and Over Again” featuring Tim McGraw, that included “rap” in it. Unlike Nelly’s song, “Dirt Road Anthem” is a country music song with a rapping part done by Aldean instead of a mainstream rap music artist.
If you’re really into the bro country sound, you can check out the “Dirt Road Anthem” remix with Ludacris, too. He adds the perfect dirty south flow needed to get you pumped and in the summer mood.
Learn more about “Dirt Road Anthem” here.
Learn more about Jason Aldean here.
Read the lyrics for “Dirt Road Anthem” here.