BIG & RICH SUPPORT AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN COUNTRY MUSIC

Big & Rich practice what they preach - country music without prejudice. Their debut album mixes hip-hop with rock and country, and they're also giving major exposure to Musik Mafia member and rapper, Cowboy Troy. John Rich told The Quad City Times, "One night in a bar in Texas when I was playing bass with Lonestar, everybody was two-stepping in a circle and out comes this 6-foot, 4-inch, 250-pound black cowboy. I'd never seen one of those. I watched him the rest of the evening and went over to talk with him. He said he was Cowboy Troy, the world's only black country rapper. He starts rapping, and it's totally barbecue Texas with a black flavor to it, and some of it is in Spanish. I thought, 'I gotta record this guy.'" Since that first meeting with Cowboy Troy, John discovered that many African-Americans are country fans - but you probably won't see them at country concerts. "I've asked black people, 'Why don't you go to concerts?'" said John. "And they say, 'Why don't you go to a black church?' They don't feel comfortable at a concert with all white faces. Cowboy Troy will be a black presence in country music."

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