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In an interview with American Songwriter, country singer Colt Ford talks about a conversation he had with The Notorious B.I.G., where Biggie revealed how he was influenced by some country icons.

Iíve always been impressed with hip hop lyrics, in just how many there are per line, and the creativity involved. Do you feel the same way?

Honestly, hip-hop and old country music is really not all that different. Theyíre storytellers just talking about a different story. But, hip-hop is important. Iíve done some things in the hip-hop world, written a couple things for a couple people, and I remember talking to Notorious B.I.G., before he died, and him going, ďYou know, I learned the art of story telling from my mother listening to Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard.Ē His mother is from Jamaica, and in Jamaica they only have a reggae station and a country station. His mom liked that stuff, so she only had those records. He goes, ďI would listen to these dudes: Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard, and they told stories.Ē

You take some of the guys, lyrically, like Tupac, Biggie, Jay-Z, and Eminem and those dudes are un-freaking-believable. Listen to the words they are putting together, lyrically and sonically what theyíre doing. Itís phenomenal. Iíve sat there and watched Jay-Z sit down and write 16 bar verses and never write anything down. Heíll have it all in his head, then go into the studio and lay it down. Thatís bada**. I donít care who you are. You write songs, and you donít appreciate that, then you donít know shit. [laughs] You donít know anything about writing a song if you canít appreciate what thatís like while looking at the lyrical content. For me, Iím doing five, six, seven words for their singing one. A lot of my artist friends are like, ďHow do you remember all that stuff?Ē I say, ďSometimes I donít.Ē Thatís what makes real music and live music fun! Sometimes you mess up. Thatís okay. Thatís music.