Rapper Lil Nas X has Scored His First UK #1 Single with ‘Old Town Road’Javonni Brustow
Photo Credit: Lil Nas X/Instagram
Rapper Lil Nas X has become a viral sensation topping the charts with his crossover hit Old Town Road. He just hit #1 in the UK making it the highest selling single there on this week’s Official Singles Chart. “I cannot believe how amazing my song is doing on the UK charts. I’m so thankful to everyone who has got behind Old Town Road. I’m still blown away by all the support for the track – thank you for listening!” he said about the accomplishment. But it didn’t come without any controversy. While making its way up the charts, Billboard removed the song from their Country music chart. Their justification was that it wasn’t truly a country song.
“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,” Billboard wrote in their statement. NPR’s Sam Sanders criticized the move saying other tracks appear on the country list that aren’t exactly country. “The song is definitely a rap song. But who decides what is or isn’t country music is very subjective. Lots of folks are saying ‘Hey, Billboard, Hey, country, You allow white artists to get on these charts with songs that aren’t quite country all the time.’ There are artists like Sam Hunt who was clearly influenced by hip-hop, artists like Taylor Swift who made country songs that were more pop than country for years.” Founder of BMD Agency in Nashville, Shane Morris said it’s likely happened because he didn’t go through the powers that be in country music. “There isn’t like a SoundCloud for independent country. The fans don’t adopt music in the same way. They very much are given what they’re supposed to like and then that’s that.”
The song was clearly country enough for Billy Rae Cyrus to add his remixing touch to it AFTER being removed from Billboard’s country music chart. And they’re not the only ones who aren’t the biggest fan of the song. Producer Dave East called the song wack. In fact, he didn’t just call it wack, he said it was “wack with a cape on it! And super wack!” Lil Nas X responded in a perfectly subtle way with a clip of a Kevin Hart interview with Joe Rogan where he spoke about people being negative for absolutely no reason. “What’s cool is being negative. This is a great example… we talk about Titanic. Titanic, one of the biggest movies of all-time, f##kin’ great movie, (acting as Joe) — yes it was a great movie — and one guy for no reason goes ‘I f##kin’ hated it!’”
But despite the controversy, the song has still blown up as well as the notoriety as an artist. Chicago rapper Cupcakke made a NSFW remix, Keith Urban posted a cover of the song, on Twitter, and EDM producer Overspace did his own version and Youtuber Jarrod Alonge did a… get this, deathcore metal version as well. And to think, all this came from a viral “yeehaw challenge” on the video app TikTok.