Louisiana born and raised Justin Champagne already had a viral hit when hick hop track “When I Pull Up” went Gold, as certified by RIAA. Then, to celebrate his accomplishment, country rock remixer Drew Jacobs (who hails from Michigan but spent much of his vacation time submerged in the Tennessee music scene) reached out, and the two collaborated on a song which combines both of their styles into something that might just be a genre of its own. Champagne calls it “gumbo,” and we’re eatin’! A song that makes everyone feel like a million bucks, “When I Pull Up (rock remix)” is for the country folk, the truckers and it’s definitely for the strippers. 

ExoticDancer.com had the opportunity to speak with Justin Champagne and collaborator Drew Jacobs about what is ‘hick hop’ and why it’s so popular now, as well as how this rock remix between two artists who had never met before came to be, courtesy of Bob Chiappardi and StripJointsMusic.com.

(Note: The interview was conducted by Ilan Fong, Danny Meyers and Bob Chiappardi, with questions courtesy of ED Publications.)

ED: What was the genesis of your collaboration? One of you is from Louisiana, the other is from Michigan. What brought you together?

Jacobs: Justin and I have known each other for years now, through the Internet. We’ve just followed each other’s journeys on social media, supporting each other. And I reached out to him about doing a rock version, probably a year ago, maybe a little over. He responded immediately, and was like, “Yeah, 100%.” We just were waiting for the right time to do it. And the moment the original song went Gold then it was like a no brainer, let’s do this to celebrate it. That’s when we made it happen, and the remix is a banger.

Champagne: Yeah, we’ve been known each other for a while, but fun fact, we never actually met until the music video. The remix came out perfect to me.

Jacobs: Yeah, it was fun, too. He came to town and we partied it up.

ED: About the song and video for ‘When I Pull Up,’ filmed in Michigan, did you find those girls/entertainers from a strip club in Michigan? And have you heard this song played in a strip club yet? 

Jacobs: No, my wife is actually in the video [laughs]. I lucked out big time. She’s in the blue bikini. And then the others are just some of my girl friends that we know. So it was all people we knew, which was super fun. It was great to work alongside friends and just have a huge blast. Every single woman left that day super confident and just in love with themselves, which was really, really cool.

“Every single woman left that day super confident and just in love with themselves, which was really, really cool.”


– Drew Jacobs

I have not heard it in a strip club yet. I actually have not had the opportunity to go to a strip club since the song has been out.

Champagne: Yeah, I haven’t either.

ED: I want to make sure that happens for you. Let us know what city you’re in when you go to a strip club. We probably know a DJ there and we’ll hook it up.

Jacobs: Sure. If we do, we usually go to Legends in Detroit.

ED:Okay, I think we know the people up there. How would you describe the genre known as country rap or ‘hick-hop’? What are the elements that define this genre? Are there any artists that you feel are stand-outs in this genre?

Champagne: It’s basically just hip hop and country infused together, just taking out the guitars and replacing them with trap beats and just putting it together, and it sounds good. I feel like it’s pretty popular nowadays.

ED: What are the top artists who stand out to you? Who are some of your favorite other hick hop artists?

Champagne: I know Ryan Upchurch is like one of the biggest in there. He has definitely influenced a lot of stuff I’ve done. Drew, who would you go to?

Jacobs: Upchurch is absolutely phenomenal. And I think country rap, if you want to explain the genre, it really just is what it is. It’s pretty self explanatory that it’s mixing country music and hip hop together. And it sounds pretty badass. Honestly, I remember the first time I heard it, and it was actually Ryan Upchurch when he first got started. I’ve been lucky enough now to have done a song with him back in 2017. Super great dude. Super cool. Very, very interesting, no doubt about it. But I think you have to be when you’re in the music business, no matter what. He’s probably one of the top ones I know. Jelly Roll has also been killing it. Struggle has been killing it. And then Justin, I think his voice sounds absolutely great and perfect for hick hop, but he’s also doing like this almost MGK  type of style, hick hop/rap type of thing. Justin has been introducing a rock element to his hick hop stuff that seems pretty new, which is awesome.

ED: Thinking back to some of the early artists that were on our StripJoints program, which has been going on for 20 years now, Bubba Sparks probably was one of the first ones, and I would say early Kid Rock even?

Jacobs: Yeah, I just got back actually from working with Kid Rock’s son when I was in Nashville actually.

ED: Oh, very cool. Yeah, I think Cowboy Troy was one of the first ones.

Champagne: Cowboy Troy’s a good guy too. I met him. I did a show with him, as well. He’s a real good guy. I saw him at the CMAs this year.

Jacobs: Well, we’re very honored to be to be added to this roster here.

ED: Who specifically has inspired the sound of this rock remix, or do you feel that it is one-of-a-kind?

Jacobs: The rock remix came together quite easily. The song itself, “When I pull up” has a lot of rock elements already to it. It has like the skeleton of it, it just needed some things to be fleshed out, some guitars, drums, some badass strings on it. I definitely think it’s a standout. And I think no matter who you are, whether you like rock, you like hip hop or country, when you listen to this song, it’s a no brainer. It’s nothing but ear candy and everybody enjoys it.

Champagne: When I first heard it, when I had it sent back to me, I was listening to it, and I was like, “Damn, that shit’s heavy.” And I looked back, and I was like, “Did they just fucking scream? That was badass.”

Jacobs: I’m a big, big fan of all the all the screams and stuff.

“I think no matter who you are, whether you like rock, you like hip hop or country, when you listen to this song, it’s a no brainer. It’s nothing but ear candy and everybody enjoys it.”


– Drew Jacobs

ED: What does ‘genre-bending’ mean to you and why is it important to your artistic aesthetic? 

Champagne: It’s basically just adding everything together. Where I’m from, in Louisiana, we just have so many different styles of music. I mean, from Zydeco, swamp hop, the blues, bluegrass, all that stuff.

ED: There’s swamp hop? I would love to hear that. That’s dope.

Champagne: Yeah, there’s just a lot of different kinds of popular music down here. Especially like Zydeco, I mean, you can’t take Zydeco too much everywhere else, because they’re like, “What is this?” It’s just like, you just take in everything. I like to call it a gumbo. You get ideas from so many different genres and put everything in a pot, and you mix it together.

“I like to call it a gumbo. You get ideas from so many different genres and put everything in a pot, and you mix it together.”


– Justin Champagne

Jacobs: Yeah, I think genre bending is a must. It’s how we move forward in music. It’s how you get things that are different and things just don’t get regurgitated over and over and over again. I think we are in an age today where there’s it’s easy access to music. It’s easy for creators, and I think social media has given people a huge opportunity to make these new genres, create new things and get them out to the people, and people are enjoying them, which is really awesome.

Champagne: It gives you something to talk about. You’re listening to a country song and then some trap beats come on, and you’re like, “Oh, shit, okay.”

ED: Drew, How did your upbringing in Michigan impact the direction you’ve taken your musical career? You’re best known as a country artist, so what made you want to venture into new territories (rock and country rap)?

Jacobs: I’m not sure anything about Michigan inspired my music career, but I’ve always traveled down to Nashville, Tennessee, which definitely did influence me. My grandparents lived in Lawrenceburg and then they lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. But I’ve dabbled into the country rap genre before, like I was saying, when I did a song with Ryan Upchurch. I did a song with Smo. At the time, his name was “Big Smo,” so I did a song with him. And I’m in talks with doing more songs with other people. And now I’ve done a song with Justin. So I’ve definitely been dabbling in the country rap genre for a long time, just because I’ve been a huge fan of it for a long time. And, you know, getting to work with people that I’ve listened to you for years, it’s pretty cool.

ED: Who do you consider to be the primary audience for this track?

Jacobs: The hot moms. No, I’m just kidding. I mean, dude, like your country people, like your partiers, your mudders, the truck meet people. It’s clearly a truck song. No doubt about it.

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