Wait, what? Is that right? It’s really been 5 whole years since Florida Georgia Line introduced the world to “Cruise” and changed country music forever? Yes.
Originally released to radio in August 2012 as their debut single off their first album, Here’s To The Good Times, “Cruise” is the best-selling digital country music song of all-time. (The remix version with Nelly was released in 2013.) Even more interesting, Billboard just named the chorus the 64th greatest chorus of this century– right in there between Usher’s “Burn” and Kings of Leon’s “Sex On Fire.” The 65th greatest chorus of this century was nominated for two GRAMMYs and Kings of Leon won a GRAMMY for their performance on the tune, while collecting two other GRAMMY nominations. Which one of these is not like the other?
Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley wrote the song with Joey Moi, Chase Rice and Jesse Rice, with Kelley humming the melody while the group was writing another song. Kelley was also the first to sing, “Baby, you a song.”
Though the song essentially cemented the bro-country phase of country music as king of country radio, Kelley told Billboard he sees the tune as more of a love letter or poem that anything else, “The chorus, I think the magic of it was that it’s a love song, but it’s almost in a poem form. I love poetry, and I thought it was kind of cool to bookend it — start the chorus with [‘Baby you a song…’] and end the chorus with ‘cruise.'”
But, don’t forget the now (I guess) classic line of, “in this brand new Chevy with a lift kit,” which also came from the writing group’s real-life love for trucks.
“I think for all of us, Chevys, Fords, trucks that are lifted and jacked up, man… we always wanted that or drove that. But it was easy to throw that in, and it sat in there perfectly. It just felt right,” Kelley shared with the magazine.
And as we all know, the rest is country music history.