On Friday, rapper Lil Nas X released a remix of his viral trap country song “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. After Lil Nas X’s recent removal on the Billboard Country charts, it also makes me wonder who actually gets to participate in crossover country music.
The 19-year-old originally released the song in December alongside and within days, it took off on TikTok and debuted on the Billboard Hot Country chart.
But right after, Billboard removed the song from the country charts, saying that its original inclusion was a mistake and the song “did not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.” Which is what? Listen to “Meant To Be” and what is the difference? Computer drums, synth, lead, autotune, etc, etc. The only difference is who is on the song. So, lil Nas X added Billy Ray Cyrus does that really change anything? And why does it matter?
OFFICIALLY THE #1 SONG IN THE COUNTRY 🐴
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) April 8, 2019
Who is the person in charge of telling us what is country and what is not? And how can a pop song be on the charts for so long (no flags raised) and not a country trap song (pulled off charts)?
Now, with Billy Ray on board, it’s likely the song will end up back on the country charts, which marks a victory for a music community run by the internet and unbothered by genre classification. Most importantly, it’s a victory for Lil Nas X, who has remained remarkably cool about this whole thing.
What’s your opinion?