Single Review: Darius Rucker, “Homegrown Honey”

Darius Rucker Homegrown Honey

“Homegrown Honey”
Darius Rucker

Written by Nathan Chapman, Charles Kelley, and Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker still seems more committed to keeping the country elements present in his country music than all of his contemporaries that didn’t crossover from the nineties rocks scene.   But that commitment is slipping a bit.

The fiddle and banjo are still there, but they’re further back in the mix than they used to be.   Lyrically, the song’s a bit ridiculous. but even the silly hook that rhymes honey with money is infectious.   Rucker’s charismatic vocals are as charming as ever.

It’s a fun little record that could’ve been even better with a simpler production.

Grade: B


  1. Agreed, I would go with an “F” as well. Terrible lyrics and Darius just comes off like McGraw did when he started recording “Bro Country” songs, which is not good to say the least. At least McGraw and his management team were smart enough to get out of that game while they still could and his career seems to have had a bit of a resurgence at Country radio in recent months in large part because they did that.

    Honestly, I’m still waiting for Rucker to record a song I am actually interested in. Every song he has put out to Country radio has just been forgettable to me for the most part. He is starting to feel a little bit like Craig Morgan, when Morgan was on Broken Bow at least, where his songs fit snugly on Country radio and everyone in the industry seems to like him, but by in large the majority of his music never seems to make a major impact one way or another in terms of the actual quality of songs.

  2. This song is a flaming F for me pure creepiness in the way he says “Ooh I like the way you move.” That line alone makes me cringe. This song has a country melody but between the creepy lines it’s bro-country and I’ll argue anyone on that and the hip-hop beats just no this song is an F thru and thru.

  3. I agree with you often, Kevin, but this is a terrible song. It gets more annoying with each listen. Thoughtless lyrics and a cheap, poppy hook. At the least, it deserves a D if not an F.

  4. Secon… Um one two three…. Fifthed. I like Rucker, but this is a flat out F. Not only is the hook idiotic and the rest isn’t much better (“New York pretty”, ugh, plus all the backroads downhome cliches), the creepiness is extremely strong with this one. Also, the video: a vest with a t-shirt? The 90s texted, they want their crappy fashion back. This is FGL-worthy fail.

  5. On one hand, like Kevin, I can appreciate the country instrumentation and infectious groove. On the other hand, like everyone else (or so it appears), I think this song is just stupid in all the wrong ways.

  6. This song is completely stupid, but it’s the most catchy and engaging performance that he’s had so far. I’ve always wanted to like Rucker as a country artist, but I’ve always liked his stuff with Hootie and the Blowfish better. I’ve always thought that he’s sounded disconnected, even on a great song like “Wagon Wheel.” So, I’ll at least give him props for sounding like he’s enjoying himself on this single.

  7. It looks like I’m the only one who agrees with Kevin! I like the song as radio filler. It’s nothing special. The lyrics are silly, but I wouldn’t call them creepy. This one is forgettable, but not awful.

  8. I think what salvages this song for me is Rucker’s vocals. The lyrics are indeed trite and stupid BUT many trite and stupid lyrics have been salvaged by good vocalists with proper production. I would give this one a B-

  9. Leeann,
    I’ve always thought that he’s sounded disconnected
    Dang, you’re right, you’re absolutely right. I knew there was something wrong with his “Wagon Wheel” and “disconnected” expresses it perfectly. Maybe it’s his delivery, but on the other hand, I don’t feel the same about, say, “Come Back Song” which I like (come on, with that intro, how could you not?).

  10. I’d probably give this song a D+ or a C-. Nothing that really offends my ears as a country music fan, but the repetition of words adds nothing to the song. Rucker is capable of much better than this.

    The recent trend in country music of repeating a word three times is starting to become a pet peeve of mine. Blake Shelton did a decent job of it in “Neon Light,” but in the process he unleashed this awful trend upon country music. The most ridiculous instance of this is in David Fanning’s “Doin’ Country Right.” Fanning’s song is so over-the-top that it almost comes off as a parody of this trend.

  11. Leeann you are right, as usual. But my problem with Rucker is his color. As a man of color I would love to have people of color singing the music I love. But Rucker represents a holding spot that makes me cringe everytime I hear him. Not only is he not connected to the music, but he also lacks an identity, and an authentic presence. He is not alone in that regard. But when you are the only person of color, in a music genre that reeks of segregation, your color can appear to be the only hook you have for being played on country radio. Would he be a popular singer if he wasn’t black? His voice is bland, it lacks any emotion that can be defined, and he doesn’t bring anything of value to the table except color. He represents the fact that country music is not color blind, and is probably a little ashamed of that fact. So they prop him up to say see ” We aren’t racist. We have a popular black performer.” But Rucker is the worst person to fill those shoes because he is harmless, and almost moot to the real issue. No one is really attracted to his music or excited by it. He is safe. And safety is not authentic . It implies fear. And fear is at the heart of bigotry.

  12. What about Charlie Pride? Was he a prop?

    How many blacks are actually trying to play country music? Are you implying there is an unofficial ban? I don’t think country music is using him as a prop. I don’t remember hearing any black singers during the 1990’s for country singers. (I could be mistaken)

    I am very excited by Rucker’s music, I enjoy his music, it has a smoothing tone to it.

    Everything you said that is a negative about Darius’ singing could be said about Blake Shelton or most country singers at the radio.

    I have no doubt that there are some racist country fans, but I also don’t doubt that there are racist rap, hip-hop, blues, etc. fans. And I don’t think country music is racist.

  13. Also, is it really segregation if the majority (A safe guess) of one color doesn’t have any interest in a musical genre? Should country music (or any genre) just prop a singer of each racial group for the sake of (fake) diversity or should the best singer be played? (I know that the best singers aren’t played on the radio, this is a hypothetical situation)

  14. CountryKnight you made some excellent points. I am not asking for country to just include a person of color for the sake of doing it. People of color have influenced country music since the beginning of country music. And yet they are unrepresented. It also pains me when I see them put up the likes of Cole Swindell or Chase Rice or Sam Hunt but they can’t find young people of color who want to sing country music? I find that hard to believe.

  15. CraigR,

    You just mentioned my completely guilty pleasure singers. You cannot get rid of them! Haha

    I am glad you are not asking for a singer of color just for the sake of it. Honestly, I think that most young people regardless of color aren’t interested in singing real country music. They all want to be rock stars and rappers and I argue this as a young person.

  16. Don’t know if this comment should go here, but Rucker wrote a number of songs for Hootie that discussed the challenges he faced as a young black male in Charleston, SC.

    “Drowning,” the last single of “Cracked Rearview,” was all about racism and openly questioned South Carolina flying the Confederate Flag at the state courthouse.

    Hootie received major backlash for releasing that song in SC, where they had just become hometown heroes. If I remember correctly, Rucker even received death threats for writing it. “Drowning” was the only single off that album that didn’t become a smash hit.

    Now that he plays in a genre that is seemingly all about the South, it’s too bad he never addresses the challenges he faced growing up in the ’70s and ’80s. I think it would be very interesting for a black country artist to write candidly about their experience growing up in the South.

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