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Ever since Lil Nas X’s monumental “Old Town Road,” the lines between country and rap have become increasingly blurred. Southern strummers are using Auto-Tune and hip-hop icons are adding a bit of country twang over thumping 808s. Few have found this middle ground more successfully than BRELAND, a.k.a. the genre-agnostic budding star born Daniel Breland in Burlington, New Jersey in 1995. The rapper got his start as a songwriter for artists like YK Osiris, before being catapulted to stardom off the strength of his 2020 hit, “My Truck.” “I have a really unique take on country music...I do a little bit of everything,” BRELAND explained on his Apple Music show, Land of the BRE. “I’ve coined the term ‘cross country,’ no one has ever used it in the context I’m using it. It’s the intersection of country music and other genres.” On “My Truck” and other songs from 2020’s BRELAND EP, the eclectic vocalist concocts a highly entertaining blend of country tropes with plucky guitar lines and handclaps that could have been directly pulled from an Atlanta strip club playlist. BRELAND’s ability to approach country and rap with nuance and subtlety makes him a standout among others looking to make it big by blending multiple genres into a digestible whole. He may not have been the first to spot the symbiotic relationship between hip-hop and country, but few do it better.

Burlington, NJ, United States
July 18, 1995

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