"I get a text from Blake saying, ‘Espo, we have just recorded the sound of money, lots and lots of money,'" Mr. Esposito recently recalled in his office here.
Mr. Shelton is one of the genre's leading lights - coach on "The Voice," co-host of the Academy of Country Music Awards - and knows from money. So, intrigued, Mr. Esposito drove down Music Row to Ocean Way Studios, where he heard Mr. Shelton's rainmaker "Boys 'Round Here."
Surprisingly, the noise money made was the sound of Mr. Shelton rapping. And he wasn't wrong: Eventually, "Boys 'Round Here" would rise to No. 2 on the Billboard country chart, and achieve his highest position on the Billboard Hot 100.