Nov 14, 2023

Oliver Anthony Lashes Out at Conservatives: ‘It's Aggravating’

Oliver Anthony wasn't angry after learning his song "Rich Men North of Richmond" was used at the first GOP debate this week. He thought the irony was hilarious.

"Cause it’s like, I wrote that song about those people, you know?” he says, laughing during his, "It's a pleasure to meet you — Part 2" video on YouTube (below). “So, for them to have to sit here and listen to that, that cracks me up.”

At the debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was asked why he thought "Rich Men of North Richmond" resonated so deeply, so quickly. His response quickly turned to an attack on President Joe Biden.

Related: Here Are the Lyrics to Oliver Anthony's "Rich Men North of Richmond"

“That song has nothing to do with Joe Biden," Anthony says. "It’s a lot bigger than Joe Biden.”

The Virginia native doubles down on his previous message that he supports neither Republicans nor Democrats. He's representing people, not politics, he says.

The 10-minute-long video was filmed on Friday morning (Aug. 25) in the cab of a truck. Heavy rain off a metal roof overpowers his message at times, but Anthony is crystal clear about who he's working for, and that he'll remain consistent even with lucrative offers on the table.

"It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them," he says. "It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here. Like we’re trying to present the same message."

"It seems like like certain people want to ride the attention of the song to maybe make their own selves relevant and that’s aggravating as hell."

At about five-and-a-half minutes, Anthony addresses what he labels as attacks by left-leaning pundits or media that claim "Rich Men ..." attacks the poor. The "welfare" lyrics are more a critique on the government, he says, adding that a news article about how people on welfare spend money inspired the "fudge rounds" line.

The video ends with Anthony reiterating that he doesn't really care much what the iTunes or Billboard charts say, and that he feels humbled to have this chance when there are more talented singers who perhaps deserve it more. He alludes to new music but does not promise anything, nor does he share any new live performances beyond what is already known.

Related: Oliver Anthony Tour Dates - Updated!