Home / Be The Change / Antiwar / Country Singer Goes on SNL, Exposes Afghan Heroin Trade and No One Even Noticed

Country Singer Goes on SNL, Exposes Afghan Heroin Trade and No One Even Noticed

Sturgill Simpson is one of the most under-appreciated, under-aired, unknown, and immensely talented musical artists around. Up until last month, in fact, most Americans have never heard of him — because he’s entirely too truthful to be on the radio.


To his devoted fans, this author included, Sturgill Simpson is a pioneer in the realm of music — and activism. For years, Simpson has been enlightening his listeners, not only through his band’s amazing sounds but also through his activism.

Sturgill Simpson is unafraid of being unpopular for telling the truth, and it has reflected in his music for more than a decade since the days of Sunday Valley. For Simpson, nothing is taboo — up to and including his antiwar stance.

While he’s best known for being the country singer who sounds like a mix of Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, and Merle Haggard — and the one who sings about the mind-expanding powers of hallucinogens like ‘Marijuana, LSD, Psilocybin, and DMT’ — Sturgill also loves to blast the military industrial complex.

His music and band are so powerful that many people may miss what he’s saying, but not us.

With his newfound success and popularity from the Grammy nomination and appearances on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Sturgill was recently asked to play on Saturday Night Live (SNL).

Shockingly enough, the producers, either through carelessness or intention, allowed Sturgill to play one of his most powerful antiwar songs from all of his albums — Call to Arms. The song is ironically titled as it is a call to arms against the US military rather than a call to arms for them.

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In the song, Simpson, who is also a US military veteran, calls out not only the brutal nature of military and war, but the fact that Western profiteers are making a figurative killing off of heroin for the literal killing of people in Afghanistan.

former British Territorial Army mechanic, Anthony C Heaford released a report two years ago, and a series of photos, which he says proves that British and American troops are harvesting opium in Afghanistan.

It is also no secret that Afghanistan opium production has increased by 3,500 percent, from 185 tons in 2001 to 6,400 in 2015, since the US-led invasion.

However, mentioning this on television is virtually unheard of — but not for Sturgill Simpson.

After playing Keep it Between the Lines, Simpson went on to drop truth to the millions of viewers — and most of them had no idea.

As the song starts out, Sturgill Simpson calls out both oil and heroin and notes how the troops are used as pawns in these wars for profit.

I done Syria, Afganistan, Iraq, and Iran
North Korea tell me where does it end
Well the bodies keep piling up with every day
How many more of em they gonna send

Well they send their sons and daughters off to die
For some oil
To control the heroin
Well son I hope you don’t grow up
Believing that you’ve got to be a puppet to be a man

Well they cut off your hair and put a badge on your arm
Strip you of your identity
Tell you to keep your mouth shut boy and get in the line
Meet your maker over seas

The second part of the song actually addresses why no one even caught the fact that he just exposed war for profit on SNL.

Wearing that Kim Jong-il hat
While your grandma’s selling pills stat
Meanwhile, I’m wearing my ‘can’t pay my fucking bills’ hat

Nobody’s looking up to care about a drone
All too busy looking down at our phone
Our ego’s begging for food like a dog from our feed
Refreshing obsessively until our eyes start to bleed
They serve up distractions and we eat them with fries
Until the bombs fall out of our fucking skies

For an unknown reason, the last verse of the song was omitted, possibly because of all the swearing. But it is still very powerful.

Turn off the TV
Turn off the news
Nothing to see here
They’re serving the blues
Bullshit on my TV
Bullshit on my radio
Hollywood telling me how to be me
The bullshit’s got to go

The band then launched into an incredible 2-minute jam. At the end of the song, Sturgill throws down his guitar and looks out at the crowd with an inspiring anger. And, just like that, truth got leaked out on to mainstream television.

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Below is the performance from Saturday.

If you’ve never heard of Sturgill Simpson, we highly recommend you try it out. You can do so here, at his website.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. and now on Steemit
  • Michael Saenz

    You want the truth? Alternative media, that’s where you’ll find it. SNL ain’t it!

    • Jon Peters

      You’re a stupid Nazi troll.

    • Well, you have to beware of what you get from alt media too, there is always someone out there with an angle or a profit motive in mind.

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      • Michael Saenz

        Well thatsI true, but if you’re reasonably intelligent unlike the idiot conspiracy
        Theorist Jon Peters, you can tell the difference and I’m sure you’ve seen It

    • That’s not a rebuttal.

      • Michael Saenz

        What kind? Facial or buttal?

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    You’ve met humanity – they’re pretty fucking oblivious. I’m sure you remember the following song. Pay close attention to the lyrics sometime:

    • Matt Agorist

      Great point!

    • Sherry

      Sounds a lot like Barenaked Ladies.

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        They actually do, except nobody can sing with the kind of rapid-fire flow of BNL.

  • Darin Livingston

    Good story but marajuana ain’t no hallucinogen.

    • Matt Agorist

      Those are the lyrics in his song turtles all the way down — thus the quotes. 😉

      • Darin Livingston

        Ooooops on my part. Thanks for the insight!

    • Joel W

      From a chemical standpoint and how it interacts with the brain, it is actually a very mind hallucinogen. Obviously not even close to LSD & such, but that’s how it is chemically classified

    • Gary Spears

      It sure as hell can be. Try taking a break for a few weeks and then eating a few grams.

      • Darin Livingston

        Yeah I suppose if one took a T break it could take you to the the edge. I prefer to not take a break but it really does depend on a person’s tolerance and physiology.

  • IceTrey

    I love opium. 😋

  • Daz Nightowl

    Saw him play a couple of months ago amazing!!

  • John David Browning

    Nothing is more obscured than that which is in plain sight. The military and heroin trafficking were tied together in WW II with Lucky Luciano, and again in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. So it would only follow same story in Afghanistan

  • macghil

    Here’s another of his antiwar songs, from his Sunday Valley days. (I miss the old Sturgill myself. His new orchestra makes me want to run screaming into the streets!)

    Sunday Valley (Sturgill Simpson) – Folded Flag

    • James Williams

      Thanks for sharing this or I might have never heard it.

  • SickoPsycho

    Sturgill Simpson is the man. They call him King Turd up there on shit mountain… lol. I don’t love country music, but I love this guy’s music. It’s great!

  • NoStateProject

    Best Marty McFly impression evah!

  • Thanks Matt for this great article!

    Never heard of him (not a country fan) but he gets an A+ in my book for telling the truth (not too popular in America these days).

  • Ibcamn

    good ol’ shit the bed rock n roll…………and i didn’t know Jimmy Ramone played the keyboard.

  • Philip Natale

    That sucked. But, the dopeheads that watch SNL couldn’t care if it is good or bad. Just a bunch of useless stoners.

  • henrybowmanaz

    I get the impression that the author of this piece hung a big, overblown claim on a few very ambiguous words. Yes, “control the heroin” can mean “monopolize the market” — but it can also mean “reduce it to a fraction,” as in “control weeds with Roundup.” Now, maybe you heard this singer give a talk where he told you which meaning he meant in this song, but the people watching SNL didn’t.

  • ccctttt

    The truth is living in NYC is that after knowing the obvous we just dumb down for the masses and that is the truth.

  • Gary Spears

    Calling this country music is completely silly, this is southern rock at its best. Think 38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Outlaws. It’s definitely not country music.

  • The http://carambo.la/ Ad is in the way of important info

  • PaulfromTexas

    Sturgill Simpson for prez in 2020