By Maxim Mower
Walker has shared the new track, which is yet to be officially released, across his socials, along with a caption explaining his reasons for revisiting the back-and-forth with Zach.
He underlined, “Me and my buddies were talking about the whole Zach Bryan thing. They were saying they appreciated how I responded. I confessed that they only saw my best foot forward. I had a hundred smart ass responses in the chamber that I didn’t fire off. Then we got to talking about people in general. Why we get insecure, etc. Mostly about how artists size each other up, compare, and talk trash”.
The Alabama singer-songwriter touched on how Zach's comments had forced him to consider his own attitude towards artists making it big on Country Radio, “It’s obviously our natural human tendency to be a little butt hurt by anyone else’s success. Then we wondered about that. Why on earth we would do that as song writers. Knowing that .0001 percent of us are actually making it in this biz. Took me 18 years to feed my kids with music and I’ll still knock something I hear on the radio cuz I didn’t write it. So, we tried our best to put it all in a Twanger. And this is what we got. I hope it makes y’all talk about stuff that matters”.
The new song - which is being dubbed by some as one of the few country ‘diss tracks’, despite Walker Hayes’ positive intentions - contains a plethora of hilarious, Zach Bryan-themed punchlines, such as, “Well I woke up this morning and read something mean / ‘Something in the Orange’ tells me you’re feelin’ green”.
Zach Bryan made the comments that inspired Walker's new song back on January 9th, during a series of posts about Tyler Childers scoring his first ever charting song at Country Radio.
Zach initially shared, “‘First ever’ is fuckn insane, one of the best songwriters to ever do it”, before adding, “Imagine being radio (whoever the hell that is), hearing Shake the Frost and being like ‘no no let’s go with the Applebees song’”, referencing the famous ‘Applebees’ lyric in Walker Hayes’ chart-topping anthem, ‘Fancy Like’.
After drawing some flak for this, Zach Bryan qualified what he said by emphasising, “not insulting anyone! Meant it with humor not malice, different strokes different folks was just bent about the first ever on mainstream radio thing my bad”.
Walker Hayes was praised for his gracious response, commenting, “Big shout to radio for playing dat Applebees...song Zach and Tyler praying y’alls continued success”.
However, as he explained in the caption of his new snippet, Walker was tempted not to take the high road. He subsequently decided to write this track, which explores artists’ tendencies to drag down others that are succeeding in their cut-throat business.
The new song has been greeted with a mixed reaction from fans. Some are celebrating Walker Hayes’ witty lyrics, while others have criticised the Trap-infused beat.
Nonetheless, we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for when the track gets a release date. It'll be fascinating to see if Zach decides to respond - perhaps we'll soon have country's first ever Drake-and-Meek-Mill-style flurry of diss tracks on our hands...
For the full lyrics so far to Walker Hayes’ new Zach Bryan-inspired song, see below:
“Well I woke up this morning and read something mean
‘Something in the Orange’ tells me you’re feelin’ green
Felt like throwin’ punches, but I just held them back
Cause Jesus didn’t die for me so I could fight with Zach Bryan
No hard feelings, cause man I’d be lyin’
If I said I ain’t never talked shit about a radio record
Cause I thought mine was better
It’s kinda funny, oughta feel half hypocritical making money
Making songs, cause I know
Most of us die trying to be Zach Bryan”
For more on Walker Hayes, see below:
Featured photo by Sarah Cahill