Paul Cauthen – Country Coming Down
“Hot dawg holly golly dag nabbit damn son,” Paul Cauthen reaches for a big time on Country Coming Down. Embracing equal parts humor and heartache hidden in humor, as well as the disappearing borders between genres, Cauthen delivers an album equally indebted to backroads country as it is to big pimping city rap. Cauthen is “Country as F#@K” with his “Champagne and a Limo” and his “F@#K You Money” while he’s “Country Clubbing.” The Cauthen of these songs is the nouveau riche full of low-class swagger shoved in the face of those who thought he’d never make it.
“F@#K You Money” is a lyrical descendant of Shell Silverstein’s “Someday” and “ooooooh, some day’s here.” “Thought that you could keep me down but I ended up on top, I’ve got f@#k you money, don’t ever have to stop,” sings Cauthen. “Champagne and a Limo” is a backstage pass to an award show adventure where Cauthen wonders why he’s there but embraces the high life nonetheless. “This is how we roll, with the blacked out windows, champagne and a limo,” Cauthen hypes the moment as he embraces the flamboyant show-and-tell of rap lyricism, “she’s wearing Versace and I’m flossin’ Tom Ford,…, step out, lights a-flashin’, paparazzi swarm, mink around her neck just to keep her warm.”
Even in the midst of the high-class fun Cauthen finds time to remind her she’s not there, “guess you could say all my dreams came true at the after party without you.” Like much of this record, “Country Clubbing” builds off the success Cauthen found with his Room 41 single “Cocaine Country Dancing” – especially the remixes – as it continues to combine hip-hop beats and dance music hooks without leaving his country pedigree or tongue-in-cheek delivery behind. “Little low down, come from nothin’, never would’ve thought I’d be country clubbing; now it’s 9-iron cart girl, get to take her for a whirl, champagne, shuffleboard, rednecks on the tennis court…now we’re all country clubbin,” as Cauthen and his rowdy crew infiltrate the reserved country club scene told like their headed for the night club.
At the heart of all this chaos and ladder climbing, Cauthen maintains that he is “Country as F@#K” and if the accompanying video is a sign, then a series of great visuals should soon follow as Cauthen’s country club new money character invades polite society. “I’m a shade tree mechanic got a one-ton truck, I drink a 30 pack a day cause I’m country as f@#k, call me little Nas call me Tim McGraw, not a moment too soon, I’ve got horses in the stall…cause I’m country, living it up, I’m country, you ain’t country enough,” Cauthen name checks and calls out the country fakers in true rap battle spirit while staying “Country as F@#k.” He continues, “I’ve only got one hat, if you touch it, you’ll die, unless your blond, you can dance and cinch a hogtie…NASCAR, dive bar, fireworks, guitar, riding mower, landowner, 83 Texoma, I was driving tractors before it got sexy, real cowboys don’t rock to Kenny Chesney.” Shots fired Kenny!
The title track closes this collection and finds Cauthen “way out there damn near off the map…where life is slow and easy, you won’t hear no highway sounds, just the crackle of the campfire and the country coming down.” After the party is over, the girls have gone home, and the money has run out, Cauthen returns to the quiet of the country from whence he came. The bass beats are gone as are the electric guitars; over a simple finger picked acoustic guitar Cauthen sings of a simpler time yet to come.
In a year when nearly every album I have been excited about fell short of expectations, Paul Cauthen’s Country Coming Down exceeded all. High times, low times, humor, and heartache come together to deliver one of the year’s best records. The Cauthen cult will grow with this one so join up now, but only if you’re country as f@#k. “Make my own definition, beat the system, ‘bout to start a new religion, call it Country, Country as F@#K!”