Billboard pulls Lil Nas X song 'Old Town Road' from country music charts
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Lil Nas X’s seemingly-overnight success also came with controversy. Earlier this week, Billboard pulled the song from the Hot Country Songs chart, telling a representative for Columbia Records that its initial inclusion was a mistake, according to Rolling Stone. The decision resulted in an online backlash, with some saying that Lil Nas X’s exclusion continued country music’s troubled history of turning its back on black artists. The song received support from Justin Bieber, and Texas Tech celebrated a win during March Madness by dancing to it. “Old Town Road” came after a period of feeling like I was out of options. I was living with my sister. She was pretty much fed up with me being there. That’s where the chorus lyric came from—it was me saying, “I want to leave everything behind.” But during the month of me making [it], I gave it a different meaning, so that the “Old Town Road” would be the symbol for success. The horse would be not having too much, but having what you have, in order to get to where you’re trying to go. The “can’t nobody tell me nothing” part is referring to my parents: wanting me to go back to school, not thinking it’s that likely for [me] to make it. “Old Town Road” was recently removed from the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, but it remains on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Do you consider it a country song? The song is country trap. It’s not one, it’s not the other. It’s both. It should be on both. Do you think your removal from the country chart had racial undertones? I believe whenever you’re trying something new, it’s always going to get some kind of bad reception. For example, when rap started, or when rock and roll began. But with country trap, I in no way want to take credit for that. I believe Young Thug would be one of the biggest pioneers in that.