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Big Smo at the 2012 BamaJam Music and Arts Festival
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At the 2012 BamaJam Music and Arts Festival

Source: Rick Diamond/Getty

Hick-Hop Rapper

Big Smo

Why you should care

With over 13 million views on his YouTube channel, Big Smo’s honky-tonkin’ ways are going viral in the world of hick-hop.

Welcome to the world of hick-hop, where country music and rap collide. Big Smo is a hick-hop rapper with a strong Internet presence, who signed with Warner Music Nashville after his music video for “Kickin’ It in Tennessee” pulled in over 5 million views on YouTube. The musician is all about backwoods country music, and “Kickin’ It” featured lyrics about moonshine, guns, tractors and Southern belles while showing cows humping, a decapitated chicken and a group of people drinking in a giant backyard party.

“Big Smo is for the kids with the jacked-up trucks and camo hats that love Jason Aldean and Brantley Glibert — but also bump Lil Wayne,” says Chris Stacey, Warner Bros. senior vice president and head of radio promotion, on Big Smo’s website.

Big Smo is a man of many nicknames. Born John Smith, his brother and friends started calling him Big Smo more than 15 years ago. He has proclaimed himself Boss of the Stix and says some people call him Hick Ross, a play on hip-hop mogul Rick Ross, “probably because I’m a big-ass white boy, bald-headed with a big-ass beard.”

We’re at the honky-tonk girl, ain’t no downtown club.

— Big Smo

After playing multiple musical instruments as a child, Big Smo started writing poetry in high school. He befriended an aspiring DJ, and they started to put Big Smo’s storytelling to music. He self-released an album in 2002 and continued to release new songs and videos, building a grassroots fanbase. In addition to signing with Warner Music Nashville, Big Smo recently signed a reality TV pilot with A&E.

An early reviewer reportedly said of his sound: “If Kid Rock and Run-D.M.C. had a love child, he would be named Big Smo.” So, if that sounds interesting to you, then take a trip down a dirt road, grab a Pabst Blue Ribbon or a mason jar of moonshine and get your country rap on with Big Smo’s music video “Honky Tonkin’.”

Honky Tonkin'


Big Smo

Cover image: Rick Diamond/Getty

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Meet The Author Lorena O'Neil

Lorena covers religion, LGBT rights and feminism. She is also unusually fascinated by Instagram dictators.

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