Country Song Or No? ‘Old Town Road’ Sparks Controversy, Wager

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 11:55 AM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2019 11:55 AM UTC

Billboard yanks Lil Nas X’s song off its country chart for not being country enough. Singer Billy Ray Cyrus disagrees.

<p>“Old Town Road,” the song by Lil Nas X that was climbing the Billboard country charts, only to be taken down because it wasn’t “country” enough is a sensation in the music industry.</p><p>It’s such a hot topic it has landed on Bovada in three wagers. It’s also the most talked about and popular country song out there at the moment.</p><p>The song is a genre-bending “country trap” song that has nearly 30 million views on YouTube and more than that on Spotify. It has a sample of a bango and lyrics about boots and horses and a hip-hop beat. What do you need Billboard - some rain, a truck and maybe a dog?</p><p>The song, which actually was first released in December 2018, caught fire on social media via TikTok. In March, the song landed on Billboard’s Hot 100 where it is No. 15, Hot Country Songs and R&amp;B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.</p><p>But then in late March, the powers that be, took if off the country charts citing to Rolling Stone magazine that “while ‘Old Town Road’ incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements to today’s country music to chart in its current version.”</p><p>A remix with Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus gained traction when it was released last week, going viral on the internet.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;OFFICIALLY THE #1 SONG IN THE COUNTRY 🐴&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;CONGRATS &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@LilNasX&lt;/a&gt; &amp;amp; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@billyraycyrus&lt;/a&gt; (via &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@billboard&lt;/a&gt;) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;April 8, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>The Texas Tech basketball team that came up short Monday in the NCAA Championship adopted the song as its anthem. Since being stripped from the country chart, there’s been backlash and chatter about race, genre and the industry.</p><p>Cyrus was among those criticizing the Billboard decision: “It was so obvious to me after hearing the song just one time,” Cyrus wrote on Twitter. “I was thinking, what’s not country about it? What’s the rudimentary element of a country and western song? Then I thought, it’s honest, humble, and has an infectious hook, and a banjo. What the hell more do ya need?”</p><p>Country singer John Rich said “the fans” should decide whehre the song belongs and referenced genre-bending Johnny Cash. “The guy (Cash) made his records in Memphis where rock and roll was happening — he’s got his hair slicked back, he’s singing about sex, drugs and rock and roll. … Johnny Cash, most hardcore lyrics anybody had ever heard — he’s not country — now Johnny Cash, a pillar of country music,” he said on the “Brian Kilmeade Show.”</p><p>The Los Angeles Times wrote Monday morning that the Academy of Country Music Awards, given out on CBS Sunday night, missed a prime opportunity by not acknowledging “Old Town Road” and Lil Nas X.</p><p>“What better way to air out the issues — and draw a few million eyeballs — than to scrap whatever had been planned (as the show’s opener) and put Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus onstage for the first time to do their viral smash instead?,” wrote Mikaell Wood.</p><p>Will Smith wants in on the action too, posting a music video for the song using visuals from his 1999 song “Wild Wild West.”</p><p>“Y’all call me when you’re ready to shoot the video,” Smith wrote under the clip on Instagram, tagging Lil Nas X and Cyrus. In response, Lil Nas X commented, “NO F*CKING WAY.”</p><p>And that’s one of three wagers on Bovada:</p><p><strong>Will Will Smith appear in the video for “Old Town Road?”</strong></p><ul> <li>Yes +155</li> <li>No -220</li></ul><p>(Friom Lil Nax X's reaction, our guess would be "no")</p><p><strong>Will Lil Nax X have a song appear on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart in 2019 Other than “Old Town Road?”</strong></p><ul> <li>Yes +200</li> <li>No -300</li></ul><p>(Doubtful)</p><p><strong>Will “Old Town Road?” make in onto the Billboard Hot Country Records Chart in 2019?</strong></p><ul> <li>Yes -150</li> <li>No +110</li></ul><p>Billboard published a story two days ago saying it likely won’t return to the country chart but also wrote it is still deciding how to classify the song. “Our initial decision to remove ‘Old Town Road’ from the Hot Country Songs chart could be revisited,” a representative wrote. That sounds like a "yes" to us.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>
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