Kuntry Strong: Beat Coming from the Boondocks
Written by Rob Smittix on November 27, 2020
Hailing from the sticks and from Upstate New York comes a rapper with a country element. You may know him from the group BoonDock Kingz but Kuntry Stong (Bryan Delurey) also rides solo once in a while. Today I had the chance to speak to the man himself. Ladies and gents may I introduce Kuntry Strong!
RRX: So you’re part of the group BoonDock Kingz, where are you geographically from and how does where you come from directly impact the music you create?
KS: BoonDock Kingz came together kind of crazy. My Partner, Danny McAllen was raised between The North Side of Atlanta, GA and the Appalachian Mountain region of North Georgia. I was born and raised in the 518. Rural Rensselaer County to be exact. We both tend to really embody our respective states (lol). So our similarities allowed our music to be true and genuine, but our regional differences played a huge part in making it unique in comparison to almost any other “Country Rap group” or Hip Hop group in general really.
RRX: Most Rap music obviously stems from the inner city but you’re from the country, how did rap and hip hop become the music that you perform over the expected norm?
KS: Well, I truly identified with Hip Hop music and Hip Hop culture above anything else. As soon as it became a part of my life when I was around 8-9, I knew it was special. I had friends who would bring me mixtapes from NYC when they would go and visit certain relatives and things like that. They would come back with all kinds of underground unheard of stuff in the early 90’s. I’d lock myself in my room and vibe to every damn line. I guess I was one of the first in my area to identify the similarities between struggling urban and rural neighborhoods.
RRX: I usually hate to ask about influences but in your unique genre combining hip hop with a country twist, I’m actually curious as to what artists have helped mold you into who you are today.
KS: It’s funny. The Influences questions is a great one to me. It’s not that generic of a question for a real artist, in my opinion. Of course the early influences for me were the Biggies and Jay-z’s of the world, but i had no bigger influence than Wu-Tang. I know most White Rappers always say Beasties, House of Pain, or Eminem… but no… the artists that made me want to be a rapper and made me think I could was Wu-Tang and Redman. They were different, they were comic book, sci-fi, and martial arts movie buffs like me. I was a closet pre-pop culture super nerd (lol) and albums like 36 Chambers (Wu) and Muddy Waters (Redman) spoke to my soul. As I got older and more open and artistic and artists like my boys, Bubba Sparxxx and Cowboy Troy had started making noise, I knew it all made sense and this whole “country rap” thing could eventually come together. But I also loved artists outside of Rap that influenced me heavily. Guns N Roses, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, Willie Nelson. It’s a big and wide list.
RRX: How long have you been rapping for? And have you ever had any issues with people not accepting you as a Hip Hop artist because you shattered the mold?
KS: I have been rapping with the intent of making a career out of it since I was 16. So 1999. I didn’t have any quality recordings until 2003 or so. After life got harder as an adult and I failed at juggling things, I was on and off with consistent music for several years. Then I started to see some signs of minimal success around 2012, and then it became my real career by 2014. It’s been a long and hard road to say the least. It still is. I’m the definition of a starving artist. As far as issues, Most of the actual issues I’ve had with people in my career were after I had a couple big songs with BoonDock Kingz. Once traditional Country/Rock venues started to reach out and book us, things got shaky. A lot of these places and even some other artists didn’t like how “Hip Hop” we actually are… If you get what i mean.
RRX: I think I absolutely get it. Any career highlights, stories, shows, tours, collaborations that you are most proud of? And care to share?
KS: My favorite tour is still my first run with my bros, Jawga Boyz. That was the start of really traveling to do music, and performing in all these places and meeting all kinds of people. Our first show in Virginia Beach was the first time I signed a Tin of Grizzly Long Cut for someone. Another crazy feeling was getting to perform in Columbus, OH at the venue where Dimebag Darrell was killed. The place still had the bullet holes in the wall and everything. It definitely had a somber, but powerful vibe. We definitely put on a wild show that night. And anytime you get a completely packed house, the energy is indescribable. I’ll never forget it. There has been a lot of crazy stories and events since then, but those first ones are what tends to stick with me the most. I’ve been blessed enough to work with more big artists and people that I grew up listening to. It’s crazy… If it all ended today, I could say I’ve gone further than most. So I’m grateful. As far as music I have made, The BoonDock Kingz “Mountain Muzik” album is my biggest personal achievement and most successful project. That was major for us.
RRX: So you have a brand new solo album out, which I’ve listened to and enjoyed very much. In your own words tell us about this project.
KS: Yes! Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s a self titled album. My first as a solo artist. I recorded the entire project in my home studio in Schaghticoke, NY, with production/ mixing/ mastering all done in house by my BoonDock Branded partners and friends; Sir. Tron Tha Great, and Biskit. It’s my first real passion project. I wasn’t thinking about how to make a hit song, or what people might wanna hear. I was just making the music I wanted to make and so far it’s doing better than i ever expected; with at least 3 more videos to come out by the time spring rolls back around.
RRX: Lastly, anything else on your mind that you’d care to share?
KS: I have a lot going on. Keeping myself busy. I’m currently working on a new BoonDock Kingz album, another collaboration album with my big bro, Big Rube of Atlantas Dungeon Family, and a few other music projects as well that aren’t far enough along to give any real info about. You can find most of my associated music by searching “BoonDockKingz” or “BoonDock Branded” anywhere music is streamed. Aside from music, we’ll eventually be restructuring and relaunching our clothing line, 518 Brand as soon as possible. Other than that, I’m just focusing on being a good Dad and trying to be a better man every day than I was the day before. My name is Kuntry Strong. Anyone who has anymore questions might be able to catch me having a Pint at The Scoreboard 518 in Troy from time to time. Me and the owner go way back.
Thanks for having me, and if you haven’t picked up the new “Kuntry Strong” album, it’s available on every streaming service everywhere. Thank again.