Country hit maker Kane Brown seems to have it all these days — red-hot career, loving family life and plenty of opportunity to give back. But for his latest pop crossover, “Blessed & Free,” he and Grammy-winning R&B phenom H.E.R. add a touch of attitude to the gratitude.
A crisp and clean R&B ballad, with a slow-rolling groove and honey-and-sandpaper vocal blend, the track is built around a heartfelt, count-your-blessings theme. But even as Brown and H.E.R. embrace the good times, there’s an underlying sense of struggle — and a bit moody defiance as well. Brown sings of the strain his life of constant travel brings, while H.E.R. is caught up trying to overcome her own inner demons. But even so, they finish up on a high note, embracing life’s ups and downs.
“I got good intentions / I don’t need your blessings / ‘Cause I’m already blessed / Yeah, I’m already blessed and free,” goes the chorus hook.
Written by Brown, H.E.R., Ilsey Juber, Denzel Michael-Akil Baptiste, David Biral and Russell James Chell, Jr., with production from Take A Daytrip and Russ Chell, the track also comes with an official video directed by Brown’s frequent visual collaborator, Alex Alvga. The black-and-white clip captures the duo in stark simplicity, like a sculpture of self-possessed confidence — even though Brown says his jacket was so tight he couldn’t really lift his arms.
Meanwhile, “Blessed & Free” serves as the title of Brown’s long awaited return to the road, as the young superstar embarks tonight (October 1) on a massive 35-city tour — which will be the first country trek to play all 29 NBA arenas. The run marks his first large scale tour since the pandemic pulled Kane Brown off the road in early 2020, just before he was set to headline NRG Stadium as part of the giant Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
“Blessed & Free” is the second pop-focused track of an upcoming project for Brown, following his collab with hip-hop star blackbear on “Memory.” And Brown was recently included on the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people.