Kane Brown opened up about the 2021 Morgan Wallen controversy for the first time during a recent interview with The New York Times.
While discussing his much-anticipated new album, Different Man, Brown shared his thoughts on Wallen’s use of the N-word in early 2021.
“This is the first time I’ve ever even talked about this, but I personally know Morgan. I texted him that day. I told him he shouldn’t have said it, but also knowing Morgan, I knew that he didn’t mean it in the way that the world thought that he meant it,” Brown revealed.
The “Like I Love Country Music” singer also added that he would have reacted differently if he felt Wallen used the slur in a racist or malicious way.
“I think if it was in a different context, I probably would have been fighting.”
Brown went on to explain how he feels when being asked about the situation as a Black artist in country music.
“I guarantee you every artist probably got asked about it,” he told the publication and said he feels like when he, Jimmie Allen, or Mickey Guyton were asked about the situation “was completely different than when they asked somebody else.”
“It’s like, they want an answer,” he added.
Brown and Wallen have previously worked together. Wallen co-wrote “Rockstars,” a track on the deluxe edition of Kane Brown’s self-titled debut album.
During the conversation, Brown also discussed how he’s impacted by racism and revealed that he’s previously been mistaken for a fellow Black country artist.
“Even today, I walked in somewhere and they were like, ‘Oh, my God, you did so good on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” he explained. “I’m like, ‘That wasn’t me; that was Jimmie Allen. That’s the other Black guy.’”
Brown, a father of two, is hopeful about country music becoming more inclusive. He recently signed Levon Gray, a Black songwriter, to his publishing company, Verse 2 Music. Gray was a co-writer on Brown’s chart-topping hit, “One Mississippi.”
“One Mississippi” will appear on Brown’s forthcoming third studio album, Different Man, which is set to arrive on Friday, September 9.
The project will feature a whopping 17 songs, including a duet with his wife as well as a collaboration with country superstar Blake Shelton. The album will also include his latest single, “Like I Love Country Music,” plus previously released tracks “Grand,” “One Mississippi,” “Whiskey Sour,” and “Leave You Alone.”
“I’m most excited, when it comes to releasing this new project, for people to see how much I’ve grown as an artist,” Brown said of the album.
Different Man follows Brown’s second studio album, 2018’s Experiment. In August of 2020, Brown released his ACM-nominated EP, Mixtape Vol. 1, which included several hit singles such as “Cool Again,” “Worldwide Beautiful” “Worship You” and his Top 40 radio single, “Be Like That” featuring Khalid and Swae Lee.
Later this month, Brown will embark on a massive international tour, dubbed the Drunk or Dreaming Tour.
The trek will feature special guests Restless Road, Jessie James Decker, Blanco Brown and Chris Lane on select dates. Kicking off on September 17 in Melbourne, Australia, the tour will continue through Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, and Europe.
The international leg of the Drunk or Dreaming Tour marks Brown’s first time touring in Australia and New Zealand, and his long-awaited return to Canada and Europe.
In addition, Brown recently announced the U.S. leg of his Drunk or Dreaming Tour, which features support from Dustin Lynch, Gabby Barrett and LOCASH.
The U.S. leg of the tour will kick off in Grand Rapids, MI on March 16, 2023, and will visit 23 cities throughout the United States before wrapping up in Greenwood Village, CO at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre on Saturday, June 10, 2023.
While embarking on the massive headlining trek, Brown will headline Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for the first time ever on March 31.