Billboard Defends Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” Removal from the Country Charts!!!
First Name Tom, Last Name Foolery… And I’m Everybody’s Uncle!
Including this country rap singer… Lil Nas X.
Maybe don’t fill up your cowboy hats with concrete & fling them through the glass doors of Billboard’s HQ just yet, y’all. After receiving widespread criticism for removing Lil Nas X’s smash country-rap hit “Old Town Road” from the country charts, due to the song “not embracing enough elements of today’s country music in its current version,” Billboard is both defending the decision & implying it could be overturned.
In a new statement to Rolling Stone, the publication asserted that while the original “Old Town Road” & its subsequent Billy Ray Cyrus remix continue to climb the Hot 100 charts, there are ongoing discussions if they should be classified as country, too. “Billboard offers category-specific charts simply as a tool for people in the music business to better gauge the success of songs relative to others in a given format. We are often times faced with difficult categorization choices,” the statement read, continuing:
Determining which chart a song lives on is an ongoing process that depends on a number of factors, most notably the song’s musical composition, but also how the song is marketed & promoted, the musical history of the artist, airplay the song receives & how the song is platformed on streaming services. Billboard welcomes the excitement created by genre-blending tracks such as Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” & will continue to monitor how it is marketed & how fans respond. Our initial decision to remove “Old Town Road” from the Hot Country Songs chart could be revisited as these factors evolve.
Cyrus, who’s featured prominently in the “Old Town Road” remix, endorsed the song because he believed the original version was a bona fide country hit.
“It was so obvious to me after hearing the song just one time,” Cyrus wrote on social media.
“I was thinking, what’s not country about it? What’s the rudimentary element of a country & western song? Then I thought, it’s honest, humble, & has an infectious hook, & a banjo. What the hell more do ya need?” Another prominent player in the country music scene, John Rich, said that “fans” should decide whether the song is legit or not.
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By: Devon Ivie