Hip-hop newcomer, Lil Nas X came onto the scene with his runaway country trap hit “Old Town Road.” Just as quickly as the song began to find a home on the Billboard country chart, it was removed for not being “country enough”. Instead of resigning to the outdated standards of the music publication, Lil Nas X decided to play chess and add the most country artist you can think of: Billy Ray Cyrus. No stranger to defying genre rules, Billy Ray Cyrus gladly joined Lil Nas X for the “Old Town Road” remix producing a complete banger!
It seemed this pair were destined to join forces as Lil Nas X tweeted back in December 2018, “Twitter please help me get Billy Cyrus on this”. Upon seeing all of the uproar surrounding “Old Time Road”, Billy Ray Cyrus tweeted the Georgia native show of support calling him an “outlaw” like himself.
A large part of “Old Town Road” initial success came from its popularity on the social media app TikTok. It quickly ascended on Apple Music, Spotify, and Billboard charts before being removed from the latter. The controversy surrounding “Old Town Road” has opened up a conversation about the gatekeeping of genres, especially within country music which has a history of its lack of inclusion for black artists.
Many are celebrating this remix for not just being a dope collaboration, but challenging Billboards actions in a genre where black artists are already so underrepresented. Even though, historically black people have contributed to what “traditional” country music sounds like. We won’t go that deep though. For now we ask: Is it country enough for you now, Billboard?
Check out Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus fire remix to “Old Town Road” below!
Written by: Chrissy Dru