And Finally Artist News

Lil Nas X’s viral hit was a country song then it wasn’t, says Billboard

By | Published on Friday 29 March 2019

American rapper Lil Nas X has been kicked out of Billboard’s country music chart after the trade mag decided his track ‘Old Town Road’ just wasn’t country enough for a listing. Despite having previously included it in the Hot Country Chart.

The 2018 record, which has recently gone viral thanks to some Tik Tok love, seemingly ended up in the country charts because of its lyrical references to cowboys and the Western-themed video game ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’.

But with hindsight, Billboard says, it’s not really a country track. So, the record having debuted on the country chart at number nineteen on 16 Mar, it’s now not listed. But don’t worry, it is still appearing on Billboard’s hip hop and main Hot 100 countdowns.

“Upon further review”, Billboard said in a statement, “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”.

Responding to claims that the real reason for the change in heart was that people didn’t like having a black rapper on the country chart, Billboard said that its “decision to take the song off of the country chart had absolutely nothing to do with the race of the artist”.