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The 'Old Town Road' Song Controversy
Apr 12, 2019 at 03:05 PM
Photo by Pixabay.com

The Quick Facts

  • ‘Old Town Road’ is a song by American rapper Lil Nas X, initially released as a single last December.
  • As the song’s popularity grew, it achieved a rare feat in Billboard history by being simultaneously charted on the Hot Country Songs chart and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in March.
  • However, after achieving this feat, Billboard removed the song from the country charts. Billboard explained the action by saying the song did not “embrace enough elements of today's country music."
  • The song would have peaked at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart if it had not been removed.
  • Lil Nas X has expressed disappointment in the decision, saying “The song is country trap. It's not one, it's not the other. It's both. It should be on both charts."
  • The removal of the song has prompted some criticism as many have supported Lil Nas X’s claim, and have cited the difficulties often faced by black artists making cross-genre music.
  • Last week, Lil Nas X released a remix of the song featuring country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. The remix was recorded in support of ‘Old Town Road’ being recognized as a country song.

Food For Thought

Should ‘Old Town Road’ be classified as a country song or not? How has this debate reframed conversations about musical genre?

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