Single - HARDY - QUIT!!
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'QUIT!!' by HARDY - Lyrics and Meaning

January 18, 2024 6:21 pm GMT

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HARDY - ‘QUIT!!'

Label: Big Loud Records / Big Loud Rock

Release Date: January 12th, 2024

Album: TBA

Producers: Joey Moi, Jacob Durrett & HARDY

Songwriters: Michael Hardy & Jacob Durrett

The Background:

The current state of country music is a complex one.

On one side, you have a large part of the genre that's doubling down on traditional values, loading up on acoustic guitars, banjos and soulful lyrical prose.

On the other, you have a new class of artists pushing and pulling on the boundaries of the genre, often mixing the characteristics of country music with different styles and sounds.

In the latter half, you'll find HARDY, a country rocker who made 2023 his banner year, starting with the release of his genre-blending, dichotomous record, the mockingbird & THE CROW.

Half an acoustic, commercial country lover's dream and half an experimental mash up of metal and alternative rock, the album set the tone for this new lane of country music that HARDY was paving, and it proved to be rather successful.

At the top of 2024, HARDY launched his next musical chapter with the release of a further genre-defying single, as well as an accompanying tour slated to start this spring.

Called 'QUIT!!', the autobiographical track is reminiscent of his previous title track, 'the mockingbird & THE CROW', but this time takes on a more aggressive and direct tone as he addresses his haters and naysayers.

The initial response to the song has been mixed, to say the least, but HARDY's ability to weave in and out of styles and genres is as seamless as ever.

It also begs the question of what the award-winning hitmaker has up his sleeve for this next era of music.

The Sound:

If you're familiar with HARDY's discography, then you will understand that 'QUIT!!' doesn't quite fit into either the mockingbird or THE CROW, but a different category altogether.

At 2 minutes and 46 seconds – only a minute and a half of that being filled with lyrics – this newest offering from the Mississippi native feels like his attempt at rap, with fast-paced verses coming one after another with no true chorus or structure.

As a pulsing beat comes through, accompanied by a helping of static and electric noise, HARDY spends nearly the entirety of the intense tune speak singing, almost feeling like a spoken word poem with clunky, sporadic production banging around in the background.

Written by HARDY and Jacob Durrett, who both had a hand in producing the track alongside Joey Moi, 'QUIT!!' is a curious choice for a lead single, especially when the project is meant to follow up one of the stronger and more interesting album releases of 2023.

With this rap-infused sound leading the way on his first taste of eagerly awaited new music, it remains to be seen if it's a path that HARDY will continue to go down as more of the upcoming record is unveiled.

The Meaning:

Somebody wrote "Quit" on a napkin
I took it out of my tip jar, laughing
Like damn, what a asshole, man
I'm just a flat-broke boy with a guitar asking
For anybody to pay attention
It's not like anybody paid admission
I was just wishin' somebody would listen
Give me a shot, and I ain't talkin' 'bout Canadian Mist then

The track opens with HARDY recounting the song's origin story.

At a writer's round years ago, before the 'wait in the truck' hitmaker had landed a publishing or record deal, someone put a different kind of "tip" in the pickle jar, telling HARDY that he should basically get a new day job.

As the song goes, he explains that he's just a guy with a dream, scrapping together whatever he can to get by and praying that one day he'll land his big break. Playing exclusively for tips at a free show in a random bar, he echos the journey that so many wide-eyed hopefuls experience as they chase their neon-tinged dreams.

Florida, Georgia put me on the map
Morgan put me on the track
F*cked around and penned a couple hits
Chucked 'em out to see if they'd react
Talked about the way of life I live
All the things the country life will give
It's like I never left my neighborhood
But I burned out of it, and I turned out good
If ya ask me

Flashing forward a few years into his now burgeoning career, HARDY calls out a few of the milestone moments that got him to where he is, including garnering songwriting cuts for award-winning duo Florida Georgia Line, landing a co-writer credit on Morgan Wallen's breakout tune 'Up Down' and a long list of others.

He makes mention of the fact that his success stems from the fact that he "talk[s] about the way of life that [he] live[s]", which is a strategy that he's built quite a songwriting empire on.

But shit, I ain't the GOAT, I'm the black sheep
Hell-bent to find closure, I can't let go
A note somebody wrote like ten years ago, put a chip on my shoulder
And if you wanted me to quit, you should've saved it, bro
If you don't wanna start shit, don't say it
And when it comes to the king, that's the radio
If you don't like my shit, don't play it

He immediately sets the record straight, saying that he's not the best thing to happen to country music or anything like that, but rather he's the black sheep and the outcast of the genre, which to a point is true.

Prior to his complete takeover of the country-rock subgenre, HARDY felt like an outsider in the format, but rather than conforming to the current taste and trend of country music, he blazed his own trail, as evidenced on the mockingbird & THE CROW.

HARDY continues to explain that he has a "quit"-note-sized chip on his shoulder that he's been carrying with him after all these years.

That not-so-helpful advice, though, has only gone on to light a fire in the decorated entertainer who credits the radio as the "king". It's a fitting sentiment given so much of his success has spawned from his loaded arsenal of hit songs that he's written for an array of the genre's big hitters.

I don't give a f*ck
I'ma still book arenas and fill 'em up
I'ma still keep singing songs about drinking a fifth of Jack D
Throwing up, then waking up alone in my truck
I heard the voice of God that night
He said, "Keep going, boy, it's all alright
I'ma bless your soul, so one day down the road
You'll be looking in the mirror like, 'I won that fight'"

HARDY continues this momentum by showing that, regardless of that one person's opinion, he's gone on to sell out arena-sized tours, clinch chart-topping singles of his own and winning over a growing legion of fans.

Taking a second to flash back to the night of the song's incident, HARDY goes on to say that his career was prophesied and that he heard the voice of God that night in the bar.

Urging him to continue down his path as a songwriter, he claims that God told him he would be blessed and be able to look back on the event as a champion.

So before you choose hate, get to know a guy
He might end up a poet that was born to fly
He might end up a man of the people
Damn, what a scene, a redneck glorified
With a stack of awards on a napkin
A bored little bastard wrote to try to warn a guy
Maybe I'm just petty
'Cause they're just metal
Wait, then again, so am I

As the song draws to a close, HARDY turns from anger to sharing a bit of a life lesson, namely that you should get to know someone before you make a judgment on them.

In the case of this mystery guy, he never could've guessed that HARDY would end of being one of the most successful tunesmiths in this era of country music, let alone a multi-Platinum entertainer in his own right.

Now, that napkin is still proudly placed on HARDY's mantel, but over the years it's been joined by a slew of awards from the likes of ACM, CMA, CMT, BMI and more.

While he notes that saying that might make him seem superficial, since they're just a bunch of trophies made out of metal, he ends the song with a clever turn of phrase and one final jab, stating that he's pretty metal, too.

What has HARDY said about ‘QUIT!!’?

Since the song's release, HARDY hasn't said much, but he's had plenty to say about the situation that inspired it over the last few years.

Most notably, HARDY first shared the story at the 2022 ACM Honors in Nashville, TN.

As he was accepting the award for Songwriter of the Year, he said: "In 2015, I was playing a songwriter round with a tip jar on the front of the stage. Nobody that played on that stage that night had a hit, we just played original songs and might've made $10 in tips."

He continued: "One person wrote 'quit' on a napkin and put it in that tip jar, and tonight that 'quit' napkin will be sitting right beside [this trophy]!"

About a year later, he went into more detail on the popular Country Cast channel on YouTube, explaining more about that night of the writer's round.

"I wasn't even mad [that night]," HARDY admits. "We were all so hungry and determined that it didn't even make any of us mad. We were just like, 'Well, f*ck that guy! We think we're good!' I kept it and it's out my house right now. I still have it to this day... It was just fuel to the fire."

That fire has grown into an untamable inferno, and as HARDY himself shared the day 'QUIT!!' was released, "I guess sometimes holding a grudge is a good thing."

We'll let you be the judge of that.

For the full lyrics to HARDY's ‘QUIT!!', see below:

Somebody wrote "Quit" on a napkin
I took it out of my tip jar, laughing
Like damn, what a asshole, man
I'm just a flat-broke boy with a guitar asking
For anybody to pay attention
It's not like anybody paid admission
I was just wishin' somebody would listen
Give me a shot, and I ain't talkin' 'bout Canadian Mist then

Florida, Georgia put me on the map
Morgan put me on the track
F*cked around and penned a couple hits
Chucked 'em out to see if they'd react
Talked about the way of life I live
All the things the country life will give
It's like I never left my neighborhood
But I burned out of it, and I turned out good

If ya ask me
But shit, I ain't the GOAT, I'm the black sheep
Hell-bent to find closure, I can't let go
A note somebody wrote like ten years ago, put a chip on my shoulder
And if you wanted me to quit, you should've saved it, bro
If you don't wanna start shit, don't say it
And when it comes to the king, that's the radio
If you don't like my shit, don't play it
I don't give a f*ck
I'ma still book arenas and fill 'em up
I'ma still keep singing songs about drinking a fifth of Jack D
Throwing up, then waking up alone in my truck
I heard the voice of God that night
He said, "Keep going, boy, it's all alright
I'ma bless your soul, so one day down the road
You'll be looking in the mirror like, 'I won that fight'"

So before you choose hate, get to know a guy
He might end up a poet that was born to fly
He might end up a man of the people
Damn, what a scene, a redneck glorified
With a stack of awards on a napkin
A bored little bastard wrote to try to warn a guy
Maybe I'm just petty
'Cause they're just metal
Wait, then again, so am I

F*ck you

--

For more on HARDY, see below:

Written by Lydia Farthing
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