Southern rappers from SamRoc & GRD defy expectations

Between references to camouflage and hunting, there is a shout-out to Jesus Christ.

You must be listening to SamRoc & GRD.

The Southern rap and hip-hop act encompasses 27-year-old Steven Ashby Myers and 26-year-old Gavin Ross Dunn, both of whom live in Columbus.

Dunn, who works in video production, often receives requests to take his shirt off on stage. He’s the brains and the sexy in SamRoc & GRD.

Myers, meanwhile, is a family man who has made music his full-time job. He’s the act’s “hustler,” responsible for expanding their fan base.

Myers is the “chubby sexy” foil to Dunn’s sex appeal.

The first time you meet the guys, you fight an urge to make a joke about the rough streets of Harris County, where the duo started freestyle rapping as teenagers.

I learn “PMT” is to Pine Mountain as “ATL” is to Atlanta.

Don’t buy it?

As white Southern rap/hip-hop artists, Dunn and Myers know they have skeptics — or haters, if you prefer.

They tell me about an Atlanta show when audience members told them to take their “country butts back home” prior to the performance.

They say once they started entertaining, they attracted a different reaction:

“These white boys are really good.”

They’ve gained steam within recent months, releasing two mix tapes and performing in Atlanta and Columbus hot spots.

They boast a show composed entirely of original songs, followed by a freestyle rap session open to audience participation.

“We ain’t been in the industry,” Myers says. “We’re just these country boys.”

That attitude is a big part of what drives the act’s appeal.

Even the listeners most intent on criticizing SamRoc & GRD will likely have a hard time finding something to hate.

Between rap references to hunting, fishing and football, you learn you’re in the company of two fun guys with a dream — not a pair of posers intent on infiltrating rap music.

They don’t overtly bill themselves as Christian rappers, but their material contains a positive message suitable for a variety of listeners.

“We’re going in positive and we’re coming out positive,” Myers says.

What’s next?

“The sky’s the limit. We’re going everywhere,” Myers says. “Through us, we want everybody to become somebody.”

And strangely, after learning PMT’s intricacies from two white Southern rappers, I have an odd sensation that I really can be anything — or anyone.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com

or 706-571-8516.

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