When Lil Nas X, a young black hip-hop artist from Atlanta, gave us the hit “Old Town Road,” he probably had no idea that it would end up at the center of a debate on race what is acceptable in country music today.
The track bridges the barrier between Trap Hop (trap & hip-hop) and Country. Lil Nas X had no record deal when he made the tune, and made quite the buzz on the internet before it made it into three different Billboard charts: the Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Country Songs.
At its success peak, Billboard removed it from its country chart, siting it did not have enough country reference to be on its charts which made for a debacle. Lil Nas X has since, released a new version of the song that includes 990s country star Billy Ray Cyrus as a featured vocalist.
When Billboard removed the track, they sited “Old Town Road” from the country chart, it issued a statement to Rolling Stone claiming the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.” With Mr. Cyrus along for the ride, it is possible that country radio stations who ignored it will start playing it, yet again.
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