This episode contains what some would call offensive language, and mature subject matter. So if there are small children within earshot, or you don’t want to hear some serious profanity, it’s probably best for you to skip this one.
Wheeler Walker Jr. is the alter-ego of American comedy writer and performer Ben Hoffman (The Ben Show, Comedy Central), who recently released his first album, Redneck Shit.
Incredibly, the self-released Redneck Shit, which Wheeler describes as his “fuck you” record, debuted at number 9 on the Billboard Country charts.
Now, this is not entirely surprising—the music on Redneck Shit is tight, traditional, and immaculately played by some of the most talented musicians working in Nashville today. However, on the album Wheeler frequently sings about topics such as cunnilingus, masturbation, and homosexual encounters, and there is a prominent “Parental Advisory” label on the front cover, carrying on a tradition of subversive country in the vein of David Allen Coe.
Redneck Shit includes titles like “Better Off Beatin’ Off,” “Sit On My Face,” and “Eatin’ Pussy, Kickin’ Ass,”—and these are among the cleaner titles on the album. All of this is to say, Wheeler Walker Jr. both is, and almost certainly is not your parents’ country music.
Wheeler is currently enjoying a surge in popularity spurred on in part by his appearances on the enormously popular podcasts WTF with Marc Maron, and the Joe Rogan Experience. But he is also drawing an audience for his traditional-non-traditional music as a result of a widespread disgust and dissatisfaction with the state of modern country.
Wheeler reserves particular scorn for Florida Georgia Line and Sam Hunt, whom he recently quoted Steve Earle in describing as “rap music for people who are scared of black people.” (Look up Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” on YouTube, and you’ll start to see what he’s talking about.)
In today’s episode Wheeler and I discuss how he’s preparing for his upcoming “Eatin’ Pussy, Kickin’ Ass” tour, his debut album and songwriting process, and the state of modern country. He also told me about growing up in Kentucky, getting into a Twitter war with Wynonna Judd (!), his recently strained friendship with singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson, and much more.
You won’t want to miss sitting in on my conversation with the controversial country music sensation Wheeler Walker Jr.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Redneck Shit by Wheeler Walker Jr. (Amazon / iTunes)
- Bootleg Series Volume 4 by Bob Dylan (Amazon / iTunes)
- Wheeler’s recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience
- Wheeler’s allegations against Sturgill Simpson on the JRE