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CNN Lil Nas Billy Ray Cyrus.jpg

Lil Nas X Teams Up With Billy Ray Cyrus For The "Old Town Road" Remix, And Black Twitter Is Loving It

By Brian Richards | Social Media | April 5, 2019 |

By Brian Richards | Social Media | April 5, 2019 |

CNN Lil Nas Billy Ray Cyrus.jpg

Last month, “Old Town Road,” the newest song by a 19-year-old rapper named Lil Nas X, grabbed enough attention and listeners on the Internet, specifically on an app called TikTok where users can create video clips and set them to music, it began to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100, Hot Country Songs, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

Not too long after that, Billboard decided to quietly remove “Old Town Road” from its Hot Country Songs chart.

Their reason for doing this, according to a statement from Billboard released to Rolling Stone?

“…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.”

I mean…I don’t recall anything like this ever happening to Taylor Swift’s music as it slowly but surely began transforming from country music to pop, but I’m sure the Comments section will correct me if I’m wrong.

Many people called out this bullshit for how unfair it clearly was, and pointed out how it was another example of how troublesome the country music industry is when it comes to younger artists, younger artists who aren’t men, and younger artists who aren’t White men. From Trevor Noah on The Daily Show to this very informative thread about the country music industry and how truly racist it is and has been.

This situation was very reminiscent of what Beyoncé went through with her single, “Daddy Lessons” from her album Lemonade. It was submitted to the Grammys for consideration in their Country categories, but wasn’t nominated due to the Recording Academy’s country music committee rejecting the song.

But in the immortal words of Beyoncé, Lil Nas X remembered to stay gracious because the best revenge is your paper. For the remix to “Old Town Road,” he worked with someone who would make it nearly impossible to deny that his song is country music and deserves to be considered as such. That someone was Billy Ray Cyrus.

The remix to “Old Town Road” dropped last night, and not only did Black Twitter like what they heard, they liked how Lil Nas X went Peppermint Petty/Petty Jenkins/Petty LaBelle in making Billboard look even more ridiculous.

The last time that Black Twitter was this enthusiastic about country music was in 2016 when Beyoncé performed “Daddy Lessons” at the CMA Awards alongside the Dixie Chicks, who are all too familiar with the disrespect and vitriol that a country-music artist can get for not making nice and for not following tradition.

Lil Nas X was clearly very happy about having Billy Ray’s support, and Billy Ray was just as happy and willing to offer it.

Now all we need in this life of sin is for Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Matthew Rhys to appear in the video and show off his line-dancing skills in his finest pair of cowboy boots. It would be a wonderful sight to see, even if Keri Russell would be sitting at home and responding to her partner’s onscreen antics like so…


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Brian Richards is a Staff Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

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