“This song is about that time in your life when you’re just having a good time, but maybe causing a bit of trouble, too.”
Baxley, GA based. American country rap duo. “They have a sound that incorporates Southern guitar riffs with booming beats and rhymes about life in the Dirty South.” How does your band name represent you as artists?
Clay Sharpe: In a lot of ways. First would be where we are from in Appling County, Georgia. We would say The LACs have a “Lower Appling County Sound.”
“Uncle Snap” (Clay) and “Rooster” (Brian). How did you get your nicknames?
Clay Sharpe: Uncle Snap was a real guy I knew growing up. He was a cool old man and he was just so smooth. I wanted to keep the name going when he passed on.
Brian King: My papa Kicklighter gave me that name because I was usually the first one up on hunting and fishing trip mornings.
2012, your album, 190 Proof, was your first to chart. Which song do you think most resonated with listeners?
Clay Sharpe: I don’t think it can be defined by just one singular song. Our albums are a whole vibe for our fans and we try to have a variety of styles of music influences and moods for there are songs for everyone regardless of what you are looking for. If this song is too rap, then check out this country song. If the country song is too country, check out this rock song and so on. We have party songs, muddin’ songs, and some heartfelt songs to clear your mind or just cruise listening too. A little something for every mood.
Brian King: To me it was the song “Country Boy Fresh,” it just seemed to catch on to our fans really quick and from there it just kept growing. Over the years we’ve learned to know what variety they like to hear. They’ve been true to us since day one and we’ll remain true to them and never switch up our authentic sounds and lyrics.
1 billion streams on Pandora. 535 million YouTube views. Over 400 million streams on Spotify. How does your fan base influence the music you create?
Clay Sharpe: Our fan base are people just like us that live how we live, so we don’t have to do anything but be true.
Brian King: I know lots of artists would say this, but I swear, our fans are different from any others. They are no doubt, absolute, diehard, down home, partying people! They influence 90% of our music and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dirt Rock Empire
The official page of Dirt Rock Empire, including Dirt Rock music, merchandise and the latest from Dirt Rock artists.
2017, created Dirt Rock Empire, your own independent record label.
Your first label release, Dirt Rock, landed in the Top 25 of the Billboard Country Albums Chart. With a new album releasing this year, how has having your own label allowed your music to evolve?
Clay Sharpe: By picking the singles and videos that WE want to release and how and when we want to release them.
Brian King: As a songwriter I love any opportunity to step out of the box. We’ve been influenced by so many different artists, that if we want to put out this song or that song, we don’t have to fit a stereotype or “industry box.” Being fully independent on our own label means we can create music other artists wouldn’t normally get a chance to experiment with.
“Hellraisers In Heaven,” a collaboration with Alabama native singer-songwriter Murphy Elmore and produced by Stephen Van Etten. The lyrics were written by Clay, Brian, Murphy, Sam Grayson, Brain Davis, Cody Webb. Clay, you shared, “This song is about that time in your life when you’re just having a good time, but maybe causing a bit of trouble, too. It’s about being rebellious, but not meaning any harm. It’s honest and genuine to our style as artists. I think it’s one where many people will find their own meaning, and personally, it’s one of our best songs yet.” How were you able to turn your style into the music video?
Clay Sharpe: Letting the young actors portray us as high schoolers really brought it out for me.
Brian King: Honestly, I think we related to the song so much that our style just fell right into place on the video.
“Hellraisers in Heaven” tour with opening acts Murphy and singer-songwriter Dustin Spears.
You have a private acoustic performance and meet & greet available for fans. Which songs of yours do you prefer to play acoustically?
Brian King: Mainly all the songs that we wrote with an acoustic guitar, “Left of Me,’’ and “Country Boys Paradise,” “Get Lost” are a few of my favorites to play.
Playlists for the road, Jelly Roll, Bailey Zimmerman, Morgan Wallen, Machine Gun Kelly. Which songs of theirs are your favorites to listen to on the bus and why?
Brian King: That’s a long list of songs! Let’s just say that we are fans of lots of different genres and artists. Whatever fits the vibe on the bus is what’s bumpin’.