Vince Gill weighed in on country music’s history with racism and debuted a new song about the issue during a reported segment on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning. The songwriter also spoke about the Morgan Wallen controversy and threw water on the argument that Wallen’s use of the “n-word” is the same as a rap artist using it in their lyrics.
“White America, when they make the argument, ‘Well, I hear it in rap music all the time…’ Have you not been paying attention to the last 3-400 years, how that word has been used by the white community? It’s derogatory, dismissive and hurtful. It doesn’t have a place,” Gill told CBS’s Anthony Mason. He said the Wallen video was “sad” and “disappointing.”
Gill also sang a snippet of a new song titled “March On,” which CBS posted in full online. Along with lyrics about changing the world before it’s too late, the song includes a reference to late civil rights leader, the congressman John Lewis. “We need to cause good trouble,” Gill sings. “Preach on brothers, sisters stay strong/hearts are changing, march on, march on.”
The CBS This Morning segment also included interviews with Rissi Palmer, Maren Morris, and Ryan Hurd. “I don’t want it to seem like we’re piling on Morgan, but there’s no place for that word,” said Hurd, whose song “Heartless” Wallen recorded. “Morgan is a symptom of a much bigger disease of what our genre is right now,” Morris said. On Wednesday, Morris will participate in a panel discussion about accountability in country music with Luke Combs and journalist Ann Powers during the 2021 virtual Country Radio Seminar conference.