Opinion: “Old Town Road” belongs on the country charts

Graphic courtesy of Evan Hughes

Graphic courtesy of Evan Hughes

Over the past couple weeks, the hit single “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X has taken social media by storm due to its unique style that has also caused some controversy.

The song was released back in December but didn’t start to gain traction until mid-March where it then debuted on three Billboard charts: Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs and Hot Country Songs.

The song is performed by the Atlanta-native Lil Nas X who said that he released the single as both a country and hip hop song giving it the label of “country trap.”  

The controversy started after Billboard removed the song from its country chart claiming that the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”

Lil Nas X responded shortly after on Genius.com and said “I started to think about it, I was like, you know, why? After like listening to other songs that are actually on that chart, it's like, wait a minute, something's not right.”

I think that he is absolutely right and “Old Town Road” deserves to be considered as a country song for the following reasons.

First off, the lyrics in the song do a great job of hitting the key elements that one would expect from a country song. Not only does he talk about back roads, horses and bull riding, he also had famous country singer Billy Ray Cyrus feature on the remix, which also did not make the Billboard country charts.

Another thing worth pointing out is that the song has received tons of support from other country artists that also believe that it should be charted under country.

“This song deserves to be on every chart,” said country singer Jimmie Allen.

Billy Ray Cyrus also tweeted: "I thought, it's honest, humble, and has an infectious hook, and a banjo. What the hell more do ya need?"

Now Billboard did make a statement that it would consider revisiting the idea after examining all of the different factors, but whether or not you enjoy the song, there is no denying that it is the hottest thing out right now.

Not only is it sitting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but also passed Drake’s “God’s Plan” for the single week streaming record with 80 million streams, beating Drake’s hit by over 10 million streams.

That being said, I think Lil Nas X will look to build on his style of “country trap” as he continues to climb the ranks of the music industry.   

VoicesTyler Knaeble