‘Rich Men’ is ‘written about the people on this stage’

Oliver Anthony, the country folk singer behind the year’s most surprising No. 1 hit “Rich Men North of Richmond,” delivered a teary-eyed message to fans: 10 minute video posted on YouTube.

In the video, Anthony addressed the mention of his viral song at Wednesday’s GOP debate. Moderator Martha MacCallum opened the debate by asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis why he thinks the “Rich Men North of Richmond” message resonates with Americans. (DeSantis responded by slurring “Bidenomics” and referring to Congress: “This Wealthy men north of Richmond put us in this situation.”)

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“It’s annoying to see people on conservative news trying to identify with me like I’m one of them,” Anthony said. “It’s annoying to see the way certain musicians and politicians act like we’re friends and like we’re fighting the same fight, like we’re trying to get the same message across.”

He continued, “It was funny to see my song at the presidential debate because I wrote that song about these people, you know? That they have to sit there and listen to this is driving me nuts,” Anthony said. “It was funny to see the response to it. This song has nothing to do with Joe Biden – it’s much bigger than Joe Biden. This song is about the people on this stage – and much more. Not just her, but definitely her.”

Anthony went on to emphasize that Rich Men North of Richmond is about people, not politics. “It’s difficult to convey a message about your political ideology or your belief in the world and change in three minutes. I hate when this song is used as a weapon,” he said. “I see the right is trying to characterize me as one of their own and the left is trying to discredit me, presumably in retaliation. This shit has to stop.”

Anthony noted that the people who reacted to the song were not “conservative people” or “not even necessarily American”.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything evoke such a positive response from such a diverse group of people, and I think that scares the people I’m singing about in this song,” Anthony said. “They’ve done everything they can for the last two weeks to make me look like an idiot, twist my words and try to pigeonhole me politically. And they can keep trying, but I’ll just keep writing.”

The Farmville, Virginia-based singer-songwriter added that he’s working on “a lot” of new songs, but doesn’t know what his music career will be like.

“I don’t know how many shows I’m going to do and how many tours I’m going to do,” Anthony said. “But I will be true to my word. I will write, produce and distribute authentic music that represents people and not politics.”

Anthony has previously said he’s already turned down multi-million dollar offers and is in no rush to sign a record deal.

While targeting conservatives as “weapons of arms” and misunderstandings of the message behind “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Anthony turned to liberals, who interpreted the song as “an attack on the poor.” (The song includes lyrics about “the welfare of obese dairymen.”)

“If you listen to my other music, it’s obvious that all of my class-related songs are defending the poor,” Anthony said, mentioning his song “Doggonit,” in which he sings, “Needles in the street , folks hardly surviving / On.” Sidewalks alongside highways full of self-driving cars.”

Anthony said his message related to “the inefficiency of government” and that the welfare poetry in “Rich Men” was based on an article he read about children in Richmond “who miss meals in the summer because their parents don’t care.” can afford to feed them.” .”

“We can start a proxy war in a foreign country, but we can’t take care of our own country,” Anthony said.

Speaking of Rich Men, he added, “30 million people understood what I said, but it takes only a few to try to derail the train and spread false narratives.”

Later in the video, Anthony began to cry as he said: “I don’t know what this country will be like in 10 or 20 years if things don’t change. I don’t know what this world will be like. Something must be done about it. Too many people have died. There were too many people who sacrificed everything they had. People die before they’re even 18. Just for us all to sit here and do the stupid crap we do every day that keeps us all down and divided. I want this to stop. And I will do everything I can to influence it at all costs. Even if it turns my world upside down.”

Earlier this week, Anthony made Billboard Hot 100 history the first artist ever to reach #1 without any previous chart history.

Watch Anthony’s full video below.

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