Podcaster Joe Rogan spoke to musician Oliver Anthony about his rise to fame after releasing the hit song “Rich Men North of Richmond” and mocked the outrage it’s caused.
The red-bearded Virginia farmer and musician rose from relative obscurity to ranking #1 on Billboard Hot 100 for a song he recorded while out in the American wilderness.
Not all of the American public has praised the artist, however.
Some have objected to his lyrics lamenting that the “obese” are “milkin’ welfare” and his declaration that “if you’re 5-ft.-3 and you’re 300 lbs, taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds.”
On Wednesday, Rogan mentioned that his song has become “a subject of discussion” to the point where “everybody is getting involved,” citing how Dwight from “The Office,” actor Rainn Wilson, “chimed in” on its lyrics.
Wilson, who played Dwight in “The Office” wrote in a social media post: “If I were writing a song about ‘rich men north of Richmond’ I wouldn’t talk about obese people on welfare, I’d sing about CEOs who make 400 times their average workers salary (up from 50 times 30 years ago) & corps that pay zero taxes & offshore tax shelters for billionaires.”
Rogan turned the scrutiny back on Wilson himself and joked, “There is nothing funnier than millionaires talking s— about billionaires. There is nothing funnier about millionaires pretending, ‘These billionaires are out-of-touch.’”
Rogan then suggested, “Take Dwight from ‘The Office’ down to West Virginia, take him through those coal-mining countries, take him through those places in Appalachia where people have extreme poverty” noting that “pills” have devastated those regions.
“Throughout rural Virginia, that poverty is a big issue, and drugs are a big issue, and I mean it’s not just even in the rural areas, and you go into downtown Richmond or any downtown anywhere for that matter,” Anthony said.
He added that lately, it appears that these problems “exist everywhere now,” to the point that “that’s why the song resonated the way it did.”