There is a boy named Oliver Anthony, originally from the U.S. state of Virginia, he is supposed to be 29 years old (some sites say 30), and he unintentionally divides America. Until August 8 last year, no one or very few knew his name, and then the young country singer with a deep voice posted his latest song on YouTube. Rich men north of Richmond. In just two days, he scored over 20 million views, climbing the charts.
The title is already a statement. Rich men north of Richmond it means wealthy people north of Richmond. Richmond is the capital of the state of Virginia, which is home to Washington, D.C., a city of political power that, coincidentally, is only 175 kilometers north of the capital. It goes like this: “I sold my soul working all day / Overtime for shitty pay / So I can sit here and waste my life / Crawl home and drown my troubles.” And one more thing: “I wish the politicians would take care of the miners / and not just minors on a distant island (I think this is a reference to Jeffrey Epstein, ed..) / Sir, we have people on the street, there is nothing to eat.
suddenly, the American right called for a miracle: “Here is our anthem.” Quickly, politicians – first of all, deputy. Marjorie Taylor Greenone of those who supported the QAnon theories – commentators, conservative journalists, appropriated the song also because they very rarely find performers with whom they can identify themselves (in America, the most famous are Kid Rock and Kanye West).
Populist text impregnated resentment against the political class for Anthony is very far from the problems of ordinary people. And, in fact, it reminds those claims of a part of the American society, including me. blue collar, workers – frustrated and embittered by the left that they are not being heard. These are the ones who in 2018 voted for trump and that it is said that they will not revise it.
Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy he commented that “progressives need to hear this song” and that the issues Anthony highlights are “all the issues for which the left has better solutions than the right.”
But Anthony doesn’t feel like anyone’s mouthpieceand in the video he says that he has never seen himself either on the right or on the left, or rather “I have always positioned myself closer to the center”. But it does not matter. Important, that Rich people north of Richmond This ballads a chronicle of the forgotten life of a working, rural American. A song that has turned into an enticing opportunity for the right, which for some time has been trying to be a messenger for issues that once belonged more to the left (jobs, wages).
As a journalist from New Yorker Jay Caspian Kang: “Depending on your political stance, Anthony is either a heaven-sent voice to express the wrath of the white working class, or he’s a fully engineered viral creation designed to serve outrage.” There are so many programs and articles on TV and newspapers exploring the true meaning of rich people of richmondwhich, perhaps only thanks to a lucky chance of virality, has become another pop the battlefield between right and left which speaks to how deeply divided American society is.
Just a few days before Anthony’s success, the very famous country singer Jason Aldean was accused of racism over the videos and lyrics. Try it in a small townanother controversy that has intertwined pop music and politics.
Anthony has not given any interviews yet. His Instagram profile is a string of photos of dirt roads, small concerts at what we would call “festivals” here, and grandma’s cakes. Red beard, very red. It is said that he was overwhelmed by this success, and he, a young man from rural America, still does not know how to deal with it.