Toby Keith’s Jib Jab-style video for “American Ride” has earned an enormous amount of attention, but the song was already making a statement for itself before the singer ever got the clip out to the public. The video certainly didn’t hurt Toby as the single hit No. 1 on both the Billboard and Country Aircheck singles charts.
Whether he’s dogging record executives, politicians or music critics, Toby’s never been one to hold back on his opinions. “Ride” bundles a bunch of issues — illegal immigration, global warming, religion and the price of gas among them — in four short verses and a chorus.
Toby didn’t write the song, but he was instantly interested when he heard its swipe at the news media.
“It’s not really news anymore,” Toby told The Oklahoman. “[It’s] the national entertainment, Fox and CNN. It blows me away that it’s more important that we know about Michael Jackson’s death or O.J. Simpson’s trial or Mackenzie Phillips sleeping with her dad. More people know about those three things than know that somebody tried to blow up the emerald tower in Dallas.”
Joe West and Dave Pahanish, who authored Jimmy Wayne’s 2008 hit “Do You Believe Me Now,” were responsible for “American Ride.” Toby typically writes his own material, but he obviously isn’t opposed to picking up a song from someone else when it’s right for him.
“The songwriter in me doesn’t want the artist in me to cut anything except my songs,” Toby noted, “but I know I kind of owe to myself as an artist to not pass up a song that’s just gonna fit you like a glove.”
“American Ride” peaked at just the right time. The album, also titled American Ride, was released Tuesday.
Toby meanwhile is expanding his influence beyond U.S. borders. He’s slated to start his first European tour Nov. 9 in Glasgow, Scotland. The trip includes an appearance the following day at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway.