Oliver Anthony wasn't angry after learning his song "Rich Men North of Richmond" was used at the first GOP debate this week. He thought the irony was hilarious.

"Cause it’s like, I wrote that song about those people, you know?” he says, laughing during his, "It's a pleasure to meet you — Part 2" video on YouTube (below). “So, for them to have to sit here and listen to that, that cracks me up.”

At the debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was asked why he thought "Rich Men of North Richmond" resonated so deeply, so quickly. His response quickly turned to an attack on President Joe Biden.

RelatedHere Are the Lyrics to Oliver Anthony's "Rich Men North of Richmond"

“That song has nothing to do with Joe Biden," Anthony says. "It’s a lot bigger than Joe Biden.”

The Virginia native doubles down on his previous message that he supports neither Republicans nor Democrats. He's representing people, not politics, he says.

“I see the right trying to characterize me as one of their own and I see the left trying to discredit me. I guess in retaliation. That s--t's gotta stop.”

The 10-minute-long video was filmed on Friday morning (Aug. 25) in the cab of a truck. Heavy rain off a metal roof overpowers his message at times, but Anthony is crystal clear about who he's working for, and that he'll remain consistent even with lucrative offers on the table.

"It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them," he says. "It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here. Like we’re trying to present the same message."

"It seems like like certain people want to ride the attention of the song to maybe make their own selves relevant and that’s aggravating as hell."

At about five-and-a-half minutes, Anthony addresses what he labels as attacks by left-leaning pundits or media that claim "Rich Men ..." attacks the poor. The "welfare" lyrics are more a critique on the government, he says, adding that a news article about how people on welfare spend money inspired the "fudge rounds" line.

The video ends with Anthony reiterating that he doesn't really care much what the iTunes or Billboard charts say, and that he feels humbled to have this chance when there are more talented singers who perhaps deserve it more. He alludes to new music but does not promise anything, nor does he share any new live performances beyond what is already known.

Related: Oliver Anthony Tour Dates - Updated!

The Best Oliver Anthony Songs — His Entire Catalog, Ranked

A chronological listen of Oliver Anthony's songs shows a longterm effort to massage the themes present in "Rich Men of North Richmond." Fans will also find he's capable of so much more than being a blue collar folk hero.

The best Oliver Anthony songs are dynamic and complete. They also hold true to the buoyant optimism he speaks of during candid conversations on his YouTube page. Hope isn't always present, however — tracks released in late summer 2022 find the Virginia-raised singer on a dark path, singing of heartbreak and suicide. You can hear and see (if there's video) the strains of life across his face.

Taste of Country ranked all 16 songs Anthony has released so far. Most are cell phone recordings, but we didn't hold a lack of production quality against him. Instead, each song is rated based on strength of message, originality and overall appeal. "Rich Men ..." ranks third, which is not a criticism of his debut hit as much as it is praise of two other mostly unheard-of songs.

11 Country Stars Who Don't Write Their Own Songs + 1 You'll Be Shocked to Learn Does

If you think a country singer needs to write their own songs to be a legitimate artist, take this short quiz:

Which of the following five hitmakers is also an established songwriter: Luke Bryan, Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson?

Just two of those names make this list of 11 country stars who don't write their own songs, and one you'll be surprised to learn does. It's a list that includes four Country Music Hall of Fame inductees and at least two others sure to get in soon. The takeaway is that great singers are great storytellers, especially when they're telling someone else's story.

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