This undated image provided by Columbia Records shows rapper Lil Nas X, whose viral hit “Old Town Road” was removed from the Billboard’s country charts because they said it wasn’t country enough. (Associated Press)
“Old Town Road,” a viral hit from rapper Lil Nas-X, is removed from the Billboard’s Hot Country chart, because it supposedly is not “country enough.”
The song, a rap/country crossover that juxtaposition of Western and cowboy-themed images to a trap beat, debuted at Number 19 on Billboard’s Hot County chart just three weeks ago.
“Upon further investigation, it was determined that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard’s country charts,” Billboard said in a statement. “In determining genres, a few factors have been examined, but first and foremost, is a musical composition. While the ‘Old Town Road’, contains references to a country and cowboy images, it does not embrace enough elements of contemporary country music in a chart in the current version.”
“While the ‘Old Town Road’, contains references to a country and cowboy images, it does not embrace enough elements of contemporary country music in a chart in the current version.”
— Billboard statement
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“Old Town Road” remains on rap/hip-hop charts and reached 32 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart. The music video on YouTube features clips from the video game “Red Dead Redemption 2,” and has more than 15 million views, with 426,000.
Shortly after the number has been removed, the rapper posted a headline of the news on his Instagram page, writing: “very disappointed” together with a “sadface” emoji.
Critics suggested that the rapper, who is black, was chosen because of his race and pointed out that crossover numbers are regularly recorded on the country charts.
Billboard fired back, stating that the decision to include the song on the country chart, “had absolutely nothing to do with the race of the artist.”
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Lil Nas X was recently signed to Columbia Records.
The song has led to dance videos and got a shout-out on social media of Justin Bieber. The Texas Tech basketball team posted a video of the team dancing on the song in the dressing room, and country singer Jake Owen tweeted the rapper, says he wanted to jam with him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.