Some Music Fans Speculate Whether Brian Kelley’s New Song is a Dig at Former FGL Bandmate Tyler Hubbard

Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, both previously part of Florida Georgia Line, are each prepping new solo projects, with Hubbard’s Strong to release April 12, and Kelley’s Tennessee Truth to release May 10.

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Kelley just released one new song off the album, titled “Kiss My Boots,” along with a new music video for the song, and some music fans seem to think the track is a dig at his former FGL bandmate Hubbard.

The song includes lyrics aimed at someone who has wronged him, even in the opening lines, “You’ve been throwin’ dirt on my name ’round this town like it ain’t small/ Like your friends ain’t my friends, and I wouldn’t end up hearin’ it all.” The chorus goes on to muse, “I don’t know how you act sweet after how you did me/ Here’s a middle finger to you through a song.”

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In teasing the song a week ago, Kelley said on Instagram, “My mental health coach told me a couple years ago as I was navigating through an extremely difficult, hurtful, and confusing time, ‘the person with the highest emotional intelligence has the highest responsibility.’ So as hard as it was in those moments to take the high road, I took her advice and I sat back and ‘ate my popcorn’. Everyone processes differently. I went inward. And it all came out in a song. Now it’s time for y’all to get your popcorn 🍿”Kiss My Boots” available next Wednesday, March 6th.”

The video for the song centers around Kelley hunting down a snake in the woods, while some fans began speculating about the video’s final scene, which shows Kelley, wearing a belt buckle emblazoned with the word “Florida,” slicing up a peach (the official state fruit of Hubbard’s homestate of Georgia) with a knife.

Hubbard previously addressed Kelley’s new song in an interview with Holler, saying, “Just like I’ve always said, I’m happy for BK. This is what he wanted and this is what he initiated, and I hope he’s happy and that he’s doing his thing and I’m doing my thing.” Hubbard further added, “I wish him the best, and yeah, as far as that’s concerned that’s about all I have to say about it.”

Meanwhile, Kelley said of the inspiration behind the song, “You know, this is a really personal song, it was born from a deep wound and a relationship. It’s a song about betrayal, and I just took a deep dive and put it all out there in a song, just like so many other artists have done over the years.” He went on to add, “I really hope that people can find their own ‘Tennessee Truth’ in this song. What I love about [‘Kiss My Boots’] is I know what it means to me, and I think it has a universal message that people can relate to. A lot of people have been betrayed, and so I hope that this song helps them as much as it has helped me.”

Billboard reached out to reps for both Hubbard and Kelley for comment.

Ormond Beach, Florida native Kelley and Monroe, Georgia native Hubbard met while both were students at Nashville’s Belmont University. In 2012, they released their debut album, and FGL’s career skyrocketed thanks to their breakthrough song “Cruise,” which would ultimately become certified “Diamond” by the RIAA. They earned two Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits (“Cruise” peaked at No. 4 while their Bebe Rexha collaboration “Meant to Be” peaked at No. 2). FGL has collected 16 Country Airplay No. 1 hits, among them “Stay” and “‘Round Here.”

In 2021, they posted a video on Instagram, stating that they would each begin working on solo music, even as they geared up for the release of their album Life Rolls On, which dropped on Feb. 12, 2021. That same year, Hubbard said during an interview on The Bobby Bones Show, “We’re not breaking up, we’re just taking a break.”

A year later, in July 2022, Hubbard said during an appearance on Bones’ podcast that Kelley initiated each of them releasing solo projects, and noted that though there was “no bad blood between the two of them,” he did point out that any reunions would likely be years in the making, saying they “might revisit getting the duo together 10 or 15 years down the line.” Hubbard and Kelley last played a show together back in 2022.

Meanwhile, Hubbard released his debut, self-titled solo project via EMI Nashville and Hubbard House Records in 2023, including the hit songs “5 Foot 9” and “Dancin’ in the Country.” Kelley released the EP BK’s Wave Pack in 2021, followed that same year by Sunshine State of Mind, out on Nashville South/Warner Music Nashville. Kelley’s upcoming album, Tennessee Truth, will release via Big Machine Records, spearheaded by the top 30 Country Airplay single “See You Next Summer.”

Listen to Kelley’s “Kiss My Boots” below:

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