Lathan Warlick’s music isn’t made with the conventional country sounds; he creates his music using hip-hop and rap influences. His music is a fresh discovery in the country music scene. The Tennessee native’s most recent EP titled, My Way, is full of collaborations with prominent country artists such as Lauren Alaina, Tyler Hubbard from Florida Georgia Line, Matt Stell, and RaeLynn. After the debacle with “Old Town Road” and the question of “is this truly country music?” Lathan Warlick proves that rap and hip-hop have a rightful place in the genre.
The EP opens with the title track, “My Way.” It’s the epitome of a weekend song, one to let loose to at a party. It starts off with a fingerpicking guitar giving it an electric, western feeling. Despite the summer party anthem vibes the song projects, Lathan finds time in the first couple of verses to think about where he grew up as he says, “Reminiscing ‘bout them old times when it didn’t get so complicated / Once you moved up out of the hood, you thought you made it / Let them good times roll, and you don’t even need congratulations / But if they tellin’ us, then we’ll take it.” “My Way” is the perfect blend of contemporary country, pop, and hip-hop sounds. By mixing all three it ends up being a tune that is impossible to get out of your head after first listen.
After “My Way” ends, the EP keeps the high-energy going by transitioning into “Roots,” the song on the EP that features country singer RaeLynn which was inspired by Warlick’s wife. This song is an ode to and celebration of southern women as the chorus bursts with the words, “God bless them girls with some roots / Raised in a small town / Make them boys shake in their boots, yeah / Workin’ hard for their money / But still bringing home some honey.” The track is filled with assertive beats and brazen electric guitars that are heard in the instrumental. It is filled to the brim with confidence and sass that is only heightened with RaeLynn’s vocals.
Despite the upbeat tempo found in numerous songs, Warlick discusses the importance of his faith throughout the EP in slower, more soulful tracks. “In His Hands” featuring Lauren Alaina is the slowest song on the project, Warlick shows his vulnerable side with the most passionate rapping he has showcased yet. Track number 6 titled “Gotta Be God” with Russell Dickson is another song where Lathan confesses his strong ties to his faith.
Another memorable moment is on “Way Out Here” which features Dustin Lynch. The track is essentially a love song dedicated to the countryside, being away from the hustle and the bustle of city life, and enjoying the middle of nowhere with your love interest. Within the lyricism, Warlick captures all the little things that make small towns and the rolling hills special. He raps about summer nights, picket fences, fishing in ponds, and the peacefulness you can’t quite find anywhere else. The juxtaposition of Warlick’s voice and Lynch’s is nice to listen too and Warlick proves yet again that rap can sound great parallel to typical country sounds.
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