'Rich Men North of Richmond' Singer Responds to Song's Use at GOP Debate: 'I Wrote That Song About Those People'


It appears that Oliver Anthony, man who’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” has turned him overnight into practically a household name, is not without a sense of irony.

In a video he posted to YouTube on Friday, he laughed at the fact that the participants in Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate in Milwaukee were forced to listen to his hit when they, knowingly or not, were the subjects of it.

It had been about 10 days since Anthony last posted a video to the platform directly addressing the events in his life and the responses to his music, but he said he had a couple of things he wanted people to know.

“If there is anything for me to address at all with you it’s that — it’s the one thing that has bothered me is seeing people rap politics up into this,” he said about two minutes into the video.

“I’m disappointed to sew — like, it’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them,” he explained. “It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here, like that we’re trying to present the same message.”

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Anthony said that he’d tried to be polite to the many, many people who had reached out to him in the wake of his sudden popularity, but felt that many of those people simply wanted to insert themselves into the attention “Rich Men North of Richmond” was generating only to make “their own selves relevant.”

“That’s aggravating as hell,” he said.

But Anthony’s aggravation turned to amusement when he thought about Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate.

“Well, you know, like, it was funny seeing my song in the — it was fun it was funny seeing it at the presidential debate,” he said, “because it’s like I wrote that song about those people, you know.

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“So for them to have to sit there and listen to that, that cracks me up,” he said.

Anthony then struck a tone that sounded more populist than conservative, implying that his song was less anti-Democrat or anti-left than it was anti-establishment.

“That song has nothing to do with [President] Joe Biden, you know,” he said. “It’s a lot bigger than Joe Biden.”

“That song is written about the people on the, on that stage — and a lot more too, not just them but but definitely them,” he said.

You can see the entire video here:

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For any readers who do not choose to watch the video in it’s entirety, it’s probably important to point out that Anthony did not reserve all of his criticism for those on the right.

“I do hate to see that song being weaponized like I see, I see the right trying to characterize me as one of their own and I see the left trying to, trying to discredit me, I guess in retaliation.”

Anthony didn’t hold back when it came to his reaction about that.

“That s***’s gotta stop,” he said.

“If you watch the response videos on YouTube to this song, it’s not conservative people responding to the song; it’s not even necessarily Americans responding to the song,” he explained. “I don’t know that I’ve seen anything get such positive response from such a diverse group of people.

“And I think that terrifies the people that I sing about in that song,” he said.”

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics