Country star John Rich — one half of the popular duo Big & Rich — penned a decidedly anti-woke song he dubbed "Progress" that rails against left-wing politics and culture and stands up for traditional American values.
However, Rich told Just the News that he foresaw a problem getting a song that tells leftists to "stick your progress where the sun don't shine" played on the radio and distributed to the masses. Mainly because the music industry also leans left.
So Rich did an end-around on Friday, bypassing the music industry's gatekeepers and instead releasing "Progress" on Truth Social — the platform started by former President Donald Trump — and on the Rumble video platform.
What happened next?
In just a few hours, "Progress" jumped to number one on iTunes, Just the News said, besting the likes of Billie Eilish and Lizzo and Beyonce. A quick glance Tuesday at PopVortex revealed that "Progress" is indeed the top song on the American iTunes charts.
"Here I am with no record label, no publisher, no marketing deal," Rich told Just the News. "I just got a song that speaks to a lot of people, and Truth and Rumble pushed it out there. And man, I'm really proud of what we did today."
A lyric in "Progress" takes aim at the forces that conspire to "shut down our voices," and Rich explained to the outlet that he's "talking about Twitter and YouTube and Facebook. And I thought, 'You know what? I'm gonna reach out to Truth Social and reach out to Rumble because they still allow free speech over there.' Why would I launch this song on the platforms that I'm railing against in the lyrics?"
Rich added to Just the News that his launch experiment is "bypassing this machine that they've built, going right around the machine, going right to the people. It means that if you bring the right content, and you have people like Truth and Rumble that will get that message to your core audience, you can beat the machine that's been put in place to keep people like me shut down."
He also told the outlet that "the problem with country radio" isn't the DJs or others at country music stations; instead "it's the people way up the food chain that run the conglomerates that have bought up 90% of all of our radio stations ... a big [contingent] of them ... do not like anybody bucking their woke system."
Still, Rich added to Just the News that "there's a few good ones in there. And when I say 'good,' I mean, you know, 'lean conservative.' They want free space; they want artists to be heard."
The meaning of 'Progress'
The author of "Progress" revealed to the outlet how his new song was born.
"I'm watching what I consider to be the dismantling of our country at a lot of different levels," Rich told Just the News. "And when you sit back and look at it, the vast majority of it's being perpetuated on us under the banner of 'progress.' Like in the name of progress we're going to send gasoline through the roof so you have to buy an electric car. In the name of progress, we're going to let anybody and everybody into our country, and if that means we get overrun with fentanyl and every other bad thing, well, so be it. Because that's progressive: You need to be open-minded and open borders in the name of progress. They target our kids in the name of progress; they do all these things that are actually the opposite of that. They're regressive. They're not constructive, they're destructive."
Here are the lyrics:
There's a hole in this country where its heart used to be
And Old Glory's divided on fire in the street
They say Building Back Better will make America great
If that's a wave of the future, all I've got to say
(chorus) Stick your progress where the sun don't shine
Keep your big mess away from me and mine
If you leave us alone, well we'd all be just fine
Stick your progress where the sun don't shine
They invite the whole world to come live in our land
And leave our countrymen dying in Afghanistan
They say let go of Jesus, let government save
And you can have back your freedom if you do what we say
They shut down our pipelines, and they shut down our voices
They shut down our Main Streets, and they shut down our choices
They bent us all over, but it's all over now
'Cause we've figured it out, we ain't backing down
Here's Rich playing "Progress" live on on "Fox & Friends" and explaining its origins:
Fox & Friends : John Rich's 'non-woke' song hits number one on iTunes youtu.be