Keepin’ it real redneck

The Lacs bring their “redneck rap” to Oddbody’s

By Rusty Pate

The Lacs are the ultimate country music outsiders.

The genre that has largely been known through the squeaky-clean corporate image of Nashville usually doesn’t welcome deviations from the norm with open arms. Even legendary mainstays like Johnny Cash, George Jones and Willie Nelson didn’t really fit into the rigid mold of rhinestones and the Hee Haw-ready, smiling faces of Nashville’s golden era.

Nothing garners respect, however, quite like success. The Lacs, consisting of Clay “Uncle Snap” Sharpe and Brian “Rooster” King, found a home on Backwoods Records in 2011 and quickly gained a foothold on the Billboard charts. Their unique combination of “redneck rap” has earned the group two top-5 appearances on the country charts and three top-10 appearances on the rap charts. Their 2013 hit “Keep It Redneck” sold in the six-figure range and their social media presence includes some mind-boggling numbers: more than 600,000 Facebook likes and more than 100,000 YouTube subscribers.

Dayton City Paper recently sat down with Sharpe to talk about life on the road, the state of modern country music and what it is like to hit the big time after coming from the small town of Baxley, Georgia.

How did you guys get started and what was the original goal of the band? 

Clay “Uncle Snap” Sharpe: We started back in 2000. There really wasn’t a goal or format or nothing. We just did music because we love it. We knew we were different, mainly because we couldn’t sing. That’s why we started rapping. A few songs caught on in our hometown and people started asking about our CDs. We thought to ourselves that we might have something with this right here. We pressed a couple thousand up and kind of hit the road, trying to sell what we could. It got to be easy to sell records. We started thinking, maybe this could be our career.

Is it easier or harder to do this when you come from a small town?

CS: I think a little of both. It makes it tougher because once you get up to a big city and go to these big meetings, you really don’t know what to expect. At the same time, it’s raised you a certain way to not take nothing off nobody and you know you got to go get it yourself. Probably a little bit of both.

Who influences you? What are you listening to now and has it changed over the years? 

CS: It’s changed a little bit. It definitely won’t ever leave from the Hank Williams, Jr. and Johnny Cash, but there’s some new music out there that we like. We love Brantley Gilbert’s style. Of course, we’re a big fan of the older rap stuff. There’s some out there we like. They kind of got to have the outlaw image for us to really pick up the album and listen to it.

What is the state of modern country music, in your opinion?

CS: It’s definitely changing, which is good for us. It means that more things are being accepted as country. I’m just like anybody else—there’s certain things I’m a big fan of and certain things I’m not. I just tell people that if we could sing, we would be traditional country singers. We can’t sing so we just kind of rap what we’re living and talking about.

What can people expect from your live show if they’ve never seen you? 

CS: Oh man, you can expect the high energy, throw the set list away type show. We may play Vanilla Ice and Johnny Cash in the same set.

How often do you tour? How many shows a year do you average? 

CS: In the last five years, we’ve probably averaged 120-140 shows a year.

Is that a tough life? 

CS: You know, it is. I ain’t going to lie. I ain’t one of them people that’s going to say “it ain’t no trouble whatsoever.” It’s tough being away from home and missing certain things in people’s lives sometimes

For you, is it more about the live show or do you consider yourselves creatures of the studio?  

CS: At first, I just saw us as in the studio—that’s where we feel more comfortable. That’s where we started. The past few years, we’ve been doing so much touring and the shows have gotten real fun. It’s just one with the other. As long as we take a month or so every year to get in the studio, I’m fine with that. The shows are definitely awesome.

The Lacs will perform Friday, Feb. 5 at Oddbody’s, 5418 Burkhardt Rd. Controversy For Breakfast will open. Doors at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show. This event is an 18 and over show. For more information please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Rusty Pater at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Rusty Pate at

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