Podcaster Joe Rogan spoke to musician Oliver Anthony about his rise to fame following the release of hit song “Rich Men North of Richmond,” and poked fun at the outrage it caused.
The red-bearded Virginia farmer and musician hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 out of relative oblivion with a song he recorded in the American wilderness.
However, not all of the American public has praised the artist. Some protested his lyrics, complaining that the “obese” were “milk welfare” and his statement that “if you’re 5’7″ and weigh 300 pounds, the taxes don’t get paid on the sacks of fudge should.” rounds.”
On Wednesday, Rogan mentioned that his song had “become a topic of discussion,” to the point where “everyone is joining in,” citing “The Office’s” Dwight, actor Rainn Wilson, “interfering with the lyrics ” have.
Wilson, who played Dwight on The Office, wrote in a social media post, “If I were to write a song about ‘rich men north of Richmond,’ I wouldn’t be talking about obese people on welfare, I’d be talking about CEOs making 400.” 50 times their average worker salary (compared to 50 times 30 years ago) and corporations that pay no taxes and offshore tax havens for billionaires.
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Turning attention back to Wilson himself, Rogan joked, “There’s nothing funnier than millionaires talking about billionaires. There’s nothing funnier when millionaires act like they don’t relate to the billionaires.”
Rogan then suggested, “Take Dwight from ‘The Office’ to West Virginia, take him through these coal mining lands, take him through these places in the Appalachia where people live in extreme poverty.” He pointed out that “Pills” would have devastated these regions.
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“Throughout rural Virginia, poverty is a big problem and drugs are a big problem and I mean it’s not just in the rural areas and you go downtown Richmond or anywhere downtown,” Anthony said.
He added that lately it seems like these issues are “everywhere now,” so much so that “that’s why the song had such a big following.”
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