December 7, 2021

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Breland’s ‘Cross Country’ Is His Mission Statement


“Cross Country,” singer and rapper Breland’s latest single, is a mission statement of sorts: Its lyrics tell his story and profess his individuality. If you didn’t already know, he’s here to shake things up.

Over a lush melody that’s at once hip-hop, pop and country, Breland introduces himself to listeners: “Jersey made / I was born and raised in the Garden State,” he opens, later detailing moves to Atlanta and Hollywood. No matter what side of the country he was on, though, the artist felt … different.

“The houses I stayed in were great / But they never felt like home, so / I’m going cross country / I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong / I’m going cross country / Know they might judge me, I ain’t gotta prove ’em wrong,” Breland sings. “‘Cause I know it’s okay to be in my own lane / When I’m doing what they say can’t be done / I’m going cross country / I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong (where I belong) …”

Breland co-wrote “Cross Country” with Will Gittens, Sean Small and Sam Sumser, all of whom he calls “good friends.” On Instagram, he explains the song is more than a song: It’s “a movement that seeks to redefine what genre is, and it sits at the intersection of country music and all of the other genres of music that we know and love.”

“Country music is built on songwriting, so I obviously had to tell a little bit of my story in this song, but there are a lot of stories that never get told that need to be told,” Breland says. “Music is one of those things that unites people and gives us common ground, and so regardless of where you’re from or what you believe in, what you look like, those moments where you’re listening to a song with someone, or in a group of people, or when you’re creating that song, the boundaries that we were taught to believe in disappear.”

“Cross Country” follows Breland’s viral hit “My Truck” — which was recently certified platinum by the RIAA and has also been remixed by the artist and Sam Hunt — as well as his self-titled EP, released in May. The New Jersey-born artist has been songwriting since he was a teenager, hustled to make a name for himself while attending Georgetown University, and got his start in the music industry through cuts by rappers YK Osiris and Elhae.

Did You Know? Breland also hosts an Apple Music radio show, Land of the BRE, each week.

Find “My Truck” Among the Best Songs of 2020:

Breland, “Cross Country” Lyrics:

Jersey made / I was born in raised in the Garden State / And my mama prayed I would trust in God / Growing up is hard, so I made mistakes / In the DMV, getting my degree / It was fun and games ‘fore the drinkin’ age …

Pre-Chorus:

I tried to fit in, but didn’t / I’m different, yeah, I know (know) / The houses I stayed in were great / But they never felt like home, so …

Chorus:

I’m going cross country / I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong / I’m going cross country / Know they might judge me, I ain’t gotta prove ’em wrong / ‘Cause I know it’s okay to be in my own lane / When I’m doing what they say can’t be done / I’m going cross country / I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong (where I belong) …

Went to ATL, where the nights are long / Wrote a thousand songs that would never sell / ‘Til I dropped the bomb that would put me on / Did it by myself / Heard the livin’’s good out in Hollywood / Thought I might as well / And I signed a deal (oh) …

Repeat Pre-Chorus

Repeat Chorus

Cross country / I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong / I’m going cross country / Know they might judge me, but I ain’t gotta, I ain’t gotta prove them wrong …

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