'Old Town Road' Pulled From Country Songs Chart
A country-tinged rap song has been given the boot from the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is a viral hit that earned a spot on the chart as well as on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot 100 singles charts.
Billboard did not announce its decision to remove the track from the country chart but told Rolling Stone in a statement: “Upon further review, it was determined that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard‘s country charts.
“When determining genres, a few factors are examined, but first and foremost is musical composition. While ‘Old Town Road’ incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”
Lil Nas X responded to Billboard’s decision by tweeting a sad-face emoji.
Later, he tweeted: “Just because old town road has funny lines doesn’t mean it’s parody. it has a theme. anybody with ears can tell i put some kind of effort into that song.”
Country singer Meghan Linsey has Lil Nas X’s back. “That is some BS,” she tweeted about the removal of the song. “It’s got plenty of ‘country elements’ and its as ‘country’ as anything on country radio, tbh.”
Rapper Ski Mask the Slump God tweeted: “Wow, Discrimination At [Its] Finest.” (Billboard insisted that removing the song from the country chart “had absolutely nothing to do with the race of the artist.”)
Lil Nas X (aka Montero Lamar Hill) released “Old Town Road” last December, inspired by the Wild West video game Red Dead Redemption 2. It is currently one of the top streaming songs in the U.S. and has been played nearly 14.5 million times on YouTube.