If you are a fan of rap music, you might have heard of Struggle Jennings, a rising star in the genre who has collaborated with artists like Yelawolf, Jelly Roll and Bubba Sparxxx. But did you know that he also has a connection to one of the most legendary figures in country music history, Waylon Jennings? In this article, we will explore the relationship between Struggle Jennings and Waylon Jennings, and how their musical influences have shaped their careers.
Who is Struggle Jennings?
Struggle Jennings is the stage name of William Harness, who was born on May 31, 1980 in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the grandson of rock guitarist Duane Eddy and country singer Jessi Colter, who married Waylon Jennings in 1969. Struggle is therefore the step-grandson of Waylon, and the nephew of Shooter Jennings, another country musician.
Struggle grew up in a musical environment, but he also faced many challenges and hardships. He lost his father at the age of 10, and got involved in drugs and crime. He was incarcerated in 2011 on drug charges, and spent five years in prison.
During his time behind bars, he found solace and inspiration in music. He recorded his debut album, I Am Struggle, from prison, and released it in 2013. He also appeared on Yelawolf’s mixtape Wyte Dawg, which gave him some exposure in the rap scene.
After his release in 2016, he focused on his music career and released several albums and mixtapes, often collaborating with Jelly Roll, his longtime friend and fellow rapper. His most successful album to date is Angels and Outlaws, which came out in 2018 and reached number 8 on the iTunes Alternative music charts.
In 2021, he released Outlaw Shit, which topped the iTunes Rap Charts on the day of its release. He also announced his God Bless the Outlaws tour with Tommy Vext, another rap artist.
Struggle’s music is influenced by his personal experiences, his struggles and his redemption. He blends rap with country and rock elements, creating a unique sound that appeals to fans of different genres. He also pays tribute to his family legacy, especially to Waylon Jennings, whom he considers a father figure and a mentor.
Who is Waylon Jennings?
Waylon Jennings was one of the most influential and successful country music artists of all time. He was born on June 15, 1937 in Littlefield, Texas. He started his musical career as a radio DJ and a guitarist for Buddy Holly. He survived the plane crash that killed Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper in 1959.
He then moved to Nashville and became part of the country music scene. He was known for his distinctive voice, his outlaw image and his rebellious attitude. He challenged the norms of the industry and fought for artistic freedom and creative control over his music.
He recorded dozens of albums and singles, many of which became classics of the genre. Some of his most famous songs include “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, “Luckenbach, Texas”, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” and “I’ve Always Been Crazy”.
He also formed a close friendship and partnership with Willie Nelson, another country icon. They recorded several albums together, including the Waylon & Willie series, which inspired Struggle Jennings and Jelly Roll to name their joint albums after them.
Waylon Jennings died on February 13, 2002 from complications of diabetes. He was 64 years old. He left behind a legacy of music that influenced generations of artists across genres. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to music.
As we have seen, Struggle Jennings is related to Waylon Jennings by marriage. Waylon married Jessi Colter in 1969, who had a daughter from a previous marriage named Jennifer Eddy. Jennifer gave birth to Struggle in 1980.
Struggle grew up knowing Waylon as his grandfather, even though they were not biologically related. Waylon treated him as his own grandson and supported him throughout his life. He also taught him about music and inspired him to pursue his passion.
Struggle has expressed his love and admiration for Waylon many times in interviews and songs. He has also honored him by using his name as part of his stage name and by covering some of his songs.
Struggle has also inherited some of Waylon’s musical traits, such as his outlaw spirit, his honesty and his versatility. He has fused rap with country and rock, creating a new genre that he calls “outlaw hip hop”.
Struggle Jennings and Waylon Jennings may not share the same blood, but they share the same soul. They are both musical outlaws who have overcome adversity and made their mark in the industry. They are both part of a family that has enriched the world with their talent and their stories.