By now I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all lived through the torment that is Darius Rucker’s bastardization of “Wagon Wheel.” What was once a legendary melody symbolic of the drunken grace of Greek life has been tarnished into a cheap plastic shell as enjoyable as a watching a bottom tier sorority compete in a spaghetti eating contest.
“It’s just a song,” you might say. “Just don’t listen to it you NF pussy creepfuck tryhard,” may cross your mind. While I get what you’re saying, we shouldn’t just idly sit by while a song we love so dearly gets raped in a darkened alley. Look what happened to the Indiana Jones series. Did you know there’s another one coming out in a few years? DID YOU!?! We’re letting these things happen! The fact of the matter is this: there are some very legitimate reasons to be angry at this song’s miserable existence, and I’d like to take you through just a few of them so you all can see just how badly Darius Rucker is trying to spread his soiled seed all over the music industry.
He’s a Sellout
Don’t get me wrong guys. I jammed out to some Hootie back in the awkwardly glorious age of the 90s. It’s what Darius has been up to since his “Only Wanna Be With You” days that are a little concerning. Everybody knows about his more recent foray into the country music scene, but did you know Darius also released a solo R&B album in 2002? You youngins might not remember, but with the early 2000s came a massive spike in the popularity of urban music, and Mr. Rucker was right there ready to capitalize. He even had a smooth R&B song with Snoop Dogg attempting to sing in the background.
Some musical critics might call this versatility, but we know what’s really going on. Darius Rucker is nothing but a 47 year old fame whore. While most musical artists spend an entire career perfecting their chosen genre, Rucker decided to be mediocre in several. It’s safe to say that he has succeeded. It’s only a matter of time before we start hearing the thumping wobbles of “DJ D-Ruck” once he decides country music has had enough fistfucking and that it’s time to change gloves and start giving EDM the old prostate special.
He Barely Changed It
As long as great bands have been making great songs, shittier bands have used their hard work and talent to further their own undeserving success. Sure, there are some great covers out there that put a unique spin on the original. “With a Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker comes to mind. While covering The Beatles seems like the equivalent of musical suicide, Cocker created a completely different vibe and put together a pretty damn good song.
Now, let’s look at the way Darius Rucker crafted Old Crow Medicine Show’s hit into a new and unique melody…by speeding it up a tiny bit. That’s all. Rucker replaced the gentle sway of the fiddle with a more upbeat rhythm as if to rush through the song so he could get back to counting his money as soon as possible.
The only major difference in the song is Darius Rucker’s voice- the dude sounds like the aborted offspring of Jason Aldean and a dying golden retriever. I think Ted said it best when it comes to the vocal “talents” of Mr. Rucker:
He Doesn’t Even Like the Original
That’s right, Darius Rucker has admitted that he never really “got” the original version of Wagon Wheel. In fact, he didn’t even decide he wanted to cover it until he heard his daughter’s school faculty sing a presumably shitty version of the song at a talent show. But hey, at least they didn’t profit from it.
From the money grubbing bastard himself: “I’m sitting in the audience, and they get to the middle of the chorus, and I turned to my wife, and I go, ‘I’ve got to cut this song.’” The quote doesn’t include it, but I can only assume that Darius had Scrooge McDuck style dollar signs glistening in his eyes the moment he caught this opportunity for a cheap buck.
What Could Happen Next?
The most ominous precedent of all that this musical butchery has set lies not in the present, but in the grim and desperate future. If Darius Rucker can violate a relatively recent classic, how long before more terrible artists can castrate the other hits that we treasure so deeply in the Greek community?
Will the notorious Australian poser Keith Urban cover “Proud to be an American”? What if T-Pain took a shot at “Freebird?” Next thing you know, we’re going to hear a dubstep remix to the Star Spangled Banner. That isn’t the kind of country I want to live in.
There you have it folks. If you’re not doing your part and deleting this atrocity off every iPhone in your chapter by now, then it’s safe to say that your house has no future. Don’t just do it for me. Do it for America.