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‘Pick-Up Man’ by HIXTAPE, Joe Diffie & Post Malone - Lyrics & Meaning

November 13, 2023 4:16 pm GMT
Last Edited December 18, 2023 9:01 pm GMT

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HIXTAPE, Joe Diffie & Post Malone - ‘Pick-Up Man’

Label: Big Loud Records / Mercury Records

Release Date: 9th November 2023

Album: HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE

Producer: Joey Moi

Songwriters: Kerry Kurt Phillips & Howard Perdew

The Background:

As Luke Bryan introduced HARDY, Morgan Wallen and Post Malone's blockbuster Joe Diffie tribute during the 2023 CMA Awards, he let slip that the tracks they'd be performing would appear on HARDY's eagerly awaited HIXTAPE Vol. 3.

The third instalment in HARDY's rowdy, lifestyle-country collaborative album series, HIXTAPE Vol. 3 is unique in that each song is a revamped rendition of a Joe Diffie classic.

The first two tracks to be released from the highly anticipated project, which will be released on March 29th 2024, were ‘Pick-Up Man’ featuring Joe Diffie and Post Malone and ‘John Deere Green’ with Joe Diffie, HARDY and Morgan Wallen.

Each HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE offering includes the late great Joe Diffie's vocals, taken from his 2006 Greatest Hits re-recordings. The fact that ‘Pick-Up Man’ features Post Malone, a Hip Hop titan that has been teasing a foray into country music for a number of years now, ensured the uptempo anthem made a colossal splash in Music City upon its release. As Posty's first single at Country Radio, it marked the beginning of the New York native's long-awaited journey into the genre.

The Sound:

With Big Loud's mastermind producer, Joey Moi, at the helm, ‘Pick-Up Man’ strikes the perfect balance between serving as an homage to Joe Diffie's original, while still feeling fresh.

The HIXTAPE cri-de-coeur has always been to be - to quote HARDY himself - ‘unapologetically country as hell’, and the exuberant twang of the lead guitar combined with the playful twinkle of a piano and the emphatic, deliberate drums ensure ‘Pick-Up Man’ carries the swagger and bounce that pervades '90s country.

Post Malone's distinctive rasp and Joe Diffie's stellar vocals are delivered with a wink, as the two artists light-heartedly glamorise the famously unglamorous life of a man who drives a pick-up truck.

The instrumentation is pointedly retro, with the steel guitar and fiddle transporting the listener to an old dance-hall. Given the manner in which this surprise duet was announced via the 2023 CMA Awards, the opening guitar riff and drums will forever bring to mind the now-iconic moment Posty leapt onto Nashville's Bridgestone Arena stage.

The Meaning:

“Well, I got my first truck, when I was three
Drove a hundred thousand miles on my knees
Hauled marbles and rocks, and thought twice before
I hauled a Barbie Doll bed for the girl next door
She tried to pay me with a kiss and I began to understand
There's just something women like about a Pick-Up Man”

‘Pick-Up Man’ opens with Posty outlining how he's been driving a 4x4 since he was just three years old, before endearingly painting a picture of him driving along on his knees in a toy truck.

He gets an early start as the unofficial local handyman, even helping to deliver a barbie bed for his neighbour's daughter. When she tries to thank him with a kiss, it dawns on our protagonist that there's a mysterious allure to a ‘Pick-Up Man’.

“When I turned 16, I saved a few hundred bucks
My first car was a Pick-Up Truck
I was cruisin' the town and the first girl I seen
Was Bobbie Jo Gentry, the homecoming queen
She flagged me down and climbed up in the cab, and said
"I never knew you were a Pick-Up Man!"”

We accelerate forward in the timeline, with the protagonist now having hit 16, and with all the money he's saved, he finally buys his very own 4x4. The song is charmingly overflowing with hyperbole, with Joe Diffie telling the story of how the homecoming queen was immediately attracted to him, merely due to the sight of his pick-up.

“You can set my truck on fire, roll it down a hill
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille
I got an eight-foot bed that never has to be made
You know if it weren't for trucks, we wouldn't have tailgates
I met all my wives in traffic jams
There's just something women like about a Pick-Up Man”

The jubilantly old-timey feel of ‘Pick-Up Man’ is reinforced with the reference to a Cadillac Coupe DeVille, which, although still being manufactured until 2005, was generally associated with the classic, 50s and 60s style of ‘town car’. In this song, a sleek ‘Couple DeVille’ essentially means the opposite of a big ol’ pick-up truck.

The protagonist's ‘eight-foot bed’ refers to his truck-bed, with Posty and Diffie celebrating how - unlike a regular bed - they never have to remember to make it.

They go on to toast the integral role played by trucks in much-loved tailgate parties, before delivering arguably the most hilarious lyric of the whole song, “I met all my wives in traffic jams”, suggesting the enchantment of the ‘Pick-Up Man’ wears off after a while.

“Most Friday nights, I can be found
In the back of my truck on an old chaise lounge
Backed into my spot at the drive-in show
You know a cargo light gives off a romantic glow
I never have to wait in line at the popcorn stand
There's just something women like about a Pick-Up Man“

We then get Post Malone and Joe Diffie setting the scene on a standard Friday night for our titular ‘Pick-Up Man’, with the protagonist hanging out at his local drive-in cinema.

He emphasises how he's found the typically unsexy and purely practical cargo lights of his truck actually produce a “romantic glow”. The appeal of his beloved 4x4 and his resulting status as a ‘Pick-Up Man’ helps him to win over the attention of the popcorn attendant.

The triviality of this adds to the fun and levity that courses through ‘Pick-Up Man’, with the addition of Posty's carefree yet husky vocals enhancing the whimsical nature of the track.

“A bucket of rust, or a brand-new machine
Once around the block and you'll know what I mean”

Towards the end of ‘Pick-Up Man’, Posty and Diffie convey that they don't care what condition the truck's in. As long as it's a 4x4, it'll have you metaphorically wrapped around its exhaust pipe.

What have the artists said about ‘Pick-Up Man’?

Speaking ahead of the HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE announcement, the Diffie estate highlighted their joy at the prospect of introducing Joe's discography to a brand new audience, “The Diffie Estate is thrilled to partner with Big Loud and HARDY in preserving and revitalizing Joe Diffie's musical legacy. With their shared excitement and passion, this collaboration promises to carry on the incredible journey of a true legend”.

HARDY, the founder of the HIXTAPE series, echoed their sentiments, “I'm super excited about DIFFTAPE. I think it's a one-of-a-kind project and we're the first people to do something like this. Especially having the original recordings and the fact that we have his family's blessing to do it, it's all really special. Joe epitomized the '90s country voice – he was so good about hearing and cutting hits, recording amazing songs”.

HARDY went on the underline how gracious Joe Diffie was to him when they worked together on the HIXTAPE Vol. 1 stand-out, ‘Redneck Tendencies’, back in 2019, “On a personal level, I only got to meet Joe once, but he was extremely nice to me, and this was in my first year of being an artist when I was an absolute nobody. He was so, so kind to me and that memory I have of him is truly special to me, too”.

For the full lyrics to HIXTAPE, Joe Diffie & Post Malone's ‘Pick-Up Man’, see below:

“Well, I got my first truck, when I was three
Drove a hundred thousand miles on my knees
Hauled marbles and rocks, and thought twice before
I hauled a Barbie Doll bed for the girl next door
She tried to pay me with a kiss and I began to understand
There's just something women like about a Pick-Up Man

When I turned 16, I saved a few hundred bucks
My first car was a Pick-Up Truck
I was cruisin' the town and the first girl I seen
Was Bobbie Jo Gentry, the homecoming queen
She flagged me down and climbed up in the cab, and said
"I never knew you were a Pick-Up Man!"

You can set my truck on fire, roll it down a hill
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille
I got an eight-foot bed that never has to be made
You know if it weren't for trucks, we wouldn't have tailgates
I met all my wives in traffic jams
There's just something women like about a Pick-Up Man

Most Friday nights, I can be found
In the back of my truck on an old chaise lounge
Backed into my spot at the drive-in show
You know a cargo light gives off a romantic glow
I never have to wait in line at the popcorn stand
There's just something women like about a Pick-Up Man

You can set my truck on fire, roll it down a hill
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille
I got an eight-foot bed that never has to be made
You know if it weren't for trucks, we wouldn't have tailgates
I met all my wives in traffic jams
There's just something women like about a Pick-Up Man

A bucket of rust, or a brand-new machine
Once around the block and you'll know what I mean

You can set my truck on fire, roll it down a hill
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille
I got an eight-foot bed that never has to be made
You know if it weren't for trucks, we wouldn't have tailgates
I met all my wives in traffic jams
There's just something women like about a Pick-Up Man
You know there's something women like about a Pick-Up Man”

For more on HIXTAPE, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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