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“1994” embraces hip-hop elements and takes listeners on a fun journey through the year Aldean was a senior in high school, Justin Bieber was born, OJ Simpson’s white Bronco sped across the nation’s TV screens and a gallon of gas only cost $1.09. When Aldean first heard the demo of the song, written by Barry Dean, Luke Laird and Thomas Rhett, he nearly fell out of his chair laughing and knew it was something totally different that he wanted to take a crack at recording for the record.

“I love that this song gets such a reaction from people,” said Aldean. “Country music in the mid-90’s was a big influence on my career, and I played all the songs that are referenced in ’94 back in my club days. Joe Diffie was rocking a sick mullet, and he was hotter than ever…just putting out monster hit after monster hit. It totally takes me back to those days, and it makes me smile every time I hear it.”

Critics prove that the song’s unique approach is well-received, with the Associated Press praising Aldean’s risk-taking by saying, “As much as Aldean has tested the conventions of country music in recent years, nothing comes close to the nerve it took to cut ‘1994’.” Additionally, Billboardlabels it “the most downright fun country song to emerge this year” and claims that it “represents the blending of hip-hop to country like no other song before it.”

Listen to the track here: