Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus Removed
If you have been living under a social media rock lately, you might not be aware of the new "hot song" that seems to be spreading itself over multiple genres and generations. The original, performed by artist Lil Nax X, features an infectious beat, cheesy banjo, and a hook about taking his horse to the old town road. The big kicker with this song is that '90s mullet master, Billy Ray Cyrus, jumped in to sing the chorus to it.
Cyrus' involvement with the song should have solidified it in the Country charts, right? We have seen rappers cross over into Country multiple times: Nelly, BB Rexha, Bubba Sparxxx, T-Pain, DJ Kahlid, heck, even Snoop Dogg did a song with Willie Nelson. After debuting at #19 on the Billboard Top 100, it now towers at #1. However, the remix with Billy Ray has been removed from the Country Billboard. Billboard says that they do not think it has enough country elements in it.
I won't go and analyze what elements they are loosely referring to, but you've got the gatekeeper of the mullet hair cut signing the hook, you have a banjo sample playing, and you're talking about horses and a road. Some critics are claiming that because the verses aren't "sung", it should not be considered a song but a rap. Well, don't tell Sam Hunt that when he sings Break Up in a Small Town.
The Billboard did cover themselves saying that, although they feel the decision is final, they will think about revisiting the issue. Until that happens, Old Town Road will just gain popularity among controversy.
What do you think? Is it country enough?