Billy Ray Cyrus covered LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ because there are no rules in 2020

The Country star takes on another crossover classic
Billy Ray Cyrus
Photo credit Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Billy Ray Cyrus is putting a honkytonk spin on LL Cool J’s 1990 banging classic “Mama Said Knock You Out.”

It’s all part of the “Achy Break Heart” singer’s latest EP Singin’ Hills Sessions, a collection of five new songs and covers, which drops today.

Cryus’ take on the rap classic oozes with back country flare and subtle strings, putting the listener on edge as the rhythm digs deeper. When Billy belts the lyrics; “Makin' the tears rain down like a monsoon / Listen to the bass go boom,” there’s a noticeable shift to power gospel vibes.

The track is made all the better with an accompanying stop animation music video featuring Billy’s nightmare sketch version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Who knew crude pen drawings could be so menacing?

“I’ve always loved that song — as well as fellow Kentucky native, Muhammad Ali — and just the concept of persistence and believing in yourself,” Cyrus said in a written statement about the track. “Countrifying it was a joy and I feel like this song is the next segment of my circle following ‘Old Town Road.'”

This is far from Billy’s first foray in genre bending work. His collaboration on “Old Town Road” with Lil Nas X spurred a global sensation that opened the minds of all music fans, no matter what their taste.

WATCH MORE: Lil Nas X reveals the truth behind “Old Town Road.”


Billy isn’t the only Cyrus experimenting with other genres. Miley performed a stripped-down rendition of Pearl Jam’s "Just Breathe" for her MTV Unplugged Presents Miley Cyrus Backyard Sessions special.

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