Oliver Anthony’s Rich Men North of Richmond has become a massive viral sensation, and is the latest in a series of cultural flashpoints that represent a fundamentally divided America, argues Caryn James.
Whether he likes it or not, the right wing may have found its latest hero in Oliver Anthony in the culture wars that continue to split US politics. Last week, Anthony’s song Rich Men North of Richmond, which criticizes Washington and big government, was released on the YouTube channel of a West Virginia radio station, and the unknown singer-songwriter became a viral success, with more than two million views in two days and more than 20 million overall. Anthony, a hefty man with a huge red beard and a guitar, stands in a wooded area, appearing and sounding like an everyday blue-collar worker. “I’ve been selling’ my soul, working’ all day/ Overtime hours for bullshit pay,” he sings. “It’s a disgrace.”
The hit song Rich Men North of Richmond has split the United States.