Batesville teen making Country music waves

Published 3:56 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2018

By Jeremy Weldon

Jamichael Robinson of Batesville is hoping to be a country music star, although he is taking a decidedly different path than most singers and songwriters with stars in their eyes. In fact, he doesn’t even care if makes to Nashville, the mecca for country singers.

“I want to make a new genre. I call it ‘hick hop’,” Robinson said last week in an interview at his recording studio off Patton Lane. For now he is using a spare bedroom with recording equipment and big screens to get his sound just right.

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Robinson, a 2017 graduate of South Panola High School who played football three years, began recording what is generally known as “gangster rap” but never really fit into that category very well. “I was getting a little attention and had performed a few shows, but it really wasn’t who I was.”

Who he was, he now says, was a country boy who feels much more comfortable in blue jeans and boots than high top sneakers and thousand dollar outfits. Besides, his gangster rap songs were never really gangster because he doesn’t write bad lyrics about police or highlight illegal drugs.

So he started writing and rapping about how he was brought up and what he enjoys the most. “That would be hanging out in the country, doing some beer drinking, and chasing them country girls. It’s stuff anybody can listen to,” he said.

Robinson kept his original rap name – FlyRich Double – and began putting his country rap on the social media sites and the music streaming sites. Almost immediately he noticed something happening to his country rhymes, and especially the comments being left by people who had downloaded his music.

“They all thought I was white. Nobody could believe it until they started looking up my old gangster rap music. I thought it was funny, but I knew something big was happening. It’s cause I started doing what I had in my heart,” he said.

On a whim, FlyRich Double decided to make a video to go along with a short song he wrote that was intended as a joke among his friends. When a professional documentary maker heard the song and offered to make a professional video for free, the Batesville 19-year-old borrowed his uncle’s tractor and called his friends.

“It just all kind of came together and I wasn’t being serious at all, but that’s how things work sometimes,” he said. The resulting video, shot in just a few hours and unrehearsed in a field off Curtis Rd., quickly went viral and set the young performer’s career in motion.

The video registered more than a million views in the first week on FaceBook alone. Other video platforms, including YouTube have piled up several million hits, resulting in more than 10 million downloads or views of (Yup) On My Tractor since September.

Readers must be warned that the music and videos currently online are laced with profanity, probably adding to their popularity. And while it is not family, or kid friendly, music by any means, the few songs that FlyRich Double has released have been widely popular with the urban and young country consumers.

His manager, Cedric Lawrence, said offers to tour with the largest of country music stars have poured in, and plans to begin a solo tour are already underway. He has signed with Start to Finish Music Group, major recording label. He said last week he is still looking at music offers on the table to and begin what he hopes is a long and financially profitable career.

He is already making enough money from streaming sales and a few live appearances to focus on his music without having to hold a regular job, and is excited about the upcoming travel. A large contract offer to play a few shows in Brazil is too good to pass up, he said, and a tour of South America venues will probably come first.

“I love Batesville and I loved growing up here, but I think it’s time for me to see what the world looks like,” he said. “I will never forget Batesville and all my people, and I hope I can help other people some day.”