Billy Currington spent three years writing for his latest album, We Are Tonight, but the songs he came up with weren’t what country fans would expect. It turns out, they were more hip-hop than hoedown.
“For this project, I was actually writing but all the songs I was writing were coming out hip-hop and R&B,” Currington recently told Radio.com. “A lot of them I’ve been writing with Shy [Carter] over the years. So it just didn’t fit for this album.”
One of the producers on his album, Carter is featured rapping on Currington’s cover of Jack Johnson‘s “Banana Pancakes” and also produced the last track on the album, “Hallelujah.” While fans don’t hear any tracks the two have been writing together on his latest release, Currington said he hopes they see the light of day.
“I think they’re really good,” he said. “Shy is such a great producer and songwriter. The guys he’s been working with I’ve been working with also and as a group we’ve come up with 18 songs that are just sitting there. I never had plans of putting out a different genre or type of music but I want somebody to hear these things. So yeah, we may put them out.”
With country artists like Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line embracing rappers on their respective hits “Dirt Road Anthem” remix (featuring Ludacris) and “Cruise” (featuring Nelly) — not to mention Luke Bryan rapping along on his current single “That’s My Kind of Night” — there is more of a place for country-rap. But, Currington said his style of hip-hop does not belong on country radio.
“I’ve heard some of the guys rapping in their country songs, but I would never want to do that,” he said. “It would totally be separate. It wouldn’t be songs that I would want to be on country radio. If you heard them you’d be like, ‘Oh never country radio. It would never fit.’ It’s way out, over here.”
Currington is in no rush to start his hip-hop career, as his day job is going well. His current single “Hey Girl” is currently at No. 2 on the Mediabase Chart and steadily rising. His new album, We Are Tonight, is out now.