Florida Georgia Line
About Florida Georgia Line
When Florida Georgia Line released “Cruise” back in 2012, it split Nashville like a piece of kindling. The polish, the cadence, the whiffs of hip-hop and arena rock—like, was this even country music anymore? And if so, how far could it be stretched until it wasn’t? Formed in 2010, the group—duo Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley—not only reflected the changing sound and feel of modern country, but helped break the genre out of some of its self-imposed insularity. After all, this was a new era: You didn’t have to pretend that liking hip-hop meant you couldn’t like country, or that liking country meant you couldn’t like pop.
If anything, FGL’s popularity proved that whatever their cosmetic differences might be, mainstream hip-hop and country shared a lot of the same concerns: kicking back, turning up, and having a good time. To younger listeners, tracks like “Cruise”—alongside collaborations with artists such as Nelly (“Lil Bit”) and Bebe Rexha (“Meant to Be”)—didn’t unlock a new world, but validated the one they were already living in. That the group has managed to retain enough of traditional country’s boot-scooting, shot-taking, big-hat energy (with hat-tips to artists like Brooks & Dunn and Garth Brooks) doesn’t hurt, of course (“I Love My Country,” “Get Your Shine On”). After all, even new eras need their good old boys.