Morgan Wallen faced controversy after video of him saying the N-word went viral in February 2021.
Last year, country star Morgan Wallen was riding high from the success of his second album, Dangerous: The Double Album, which went number one on the Billboard 200 chart. But a viral video of him saying the N-word tarnished his public reputation. One person coming to his defense in the aftermath has been Lil Dirk, who insists that Wallen isn’t a racist.
Lil Dirk and Wallen collaborated on the single “Broadway Girls” in 2021, scoring Dirk a number one hit on both Billboard’s R&B and Rap singles charts; his first as the leading artist.
It also peaked in the Top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100. In light of Dirk’s successful rap/country hybrid, he told TMZ that he personally knows Wallen isn’t what people may think.
“He ain’t no racist, that’s my boy,” Dirk said. “We had a long talk, he had his public situation. We ain’t behind closed doors.” Last February, Wallen was caught on-tape drunk, saying the N-word outside his home in Nashville when saying goodbye to a group of friends.
The incident led to his label, Big Loud, temporarily suspending his contract, Wallen’s music being removed from several radio outlets and streaming services, and him being declared ineligible for a Country Music Association award.
However, in the wake of the controversy Wallen’s music saw a 1,220 percent increase in digital album sales and a 327 percent increase in single sales, per NBC News.
Dirk continued to defend Wallen, saying, “He ain’t canceled, I talked to him. When I say you ain’t canceled, you ain’t canceled.” When asked if other rappers, Kendrick Lamar in particular, should work with Wallen, Dirk replied, “For sure.”
Wallen was a contestant on the NBC singing competition show, The Voice in 2014. After getting a record deal, he released his debut, If You Know Me, in 2018. Its four singles went platinum or multi-platinum.
Wallen apologized after the incident, telling Michael Strahan of Good Morning America, “I was around some of my friends, and we we say dumb stuff together. And it was — in our minds, it’s playful… that sounds ignorant, but it — that’s really where it came from … and it’s wrong.”
Wallen’s latest single, “Sand in My Boots,” is climbing into the Billboard Country chart’s top 10.
The country crooner has been involved in other controversies as well. He was removed from an Oct. 7 performance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) after a video surfaced on Oct. 3 of him partying in Alabama without a mask or practicing social distancing. This violation of NBC’s safety protocols caused SNL to postpone his appearance to December.
In May 2020, Wallen was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct at Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse in Nashville. Wallen apologized, saying he and friends were “horse-playing” and that he “mean any harm.”
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