The Atlanta rapper Lil Nas X arrives at the perfect timing with his recently released and now remixed single “Old Town Road.”
Controversy stirred after Billboard removed the song from their Billboard Hot Country Songs chart because it “does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard‘s country charts,” Billboard told Rolling Stone. “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.”
Subsequently, it rose to the #1 spot on Billboard’s on-demand streaming chart, garnering over 20 million listens just last week. It’s also currently sitting in the top 15 of the Hot 100 singles chart.
His virality has also come in favor for the 19-year-old who got a Justin Bieber co-sign, a record deal with Columbia Records, and this remixed version with Billy Ray Cyrus. Lil Nas X believes the song should be considered “country trap.” “It’s not one, it’s not the other. It’s both. It should be on both,” he told Time.
Lil Nas X first released the song in December 2018 through YouTube with visuals from the video game Red Dead Redemption 2. After uploading it with the country genre tag on popular streaming platforms SoundCloud and iTunes, it began to gain traction. TikTok confirmed the virality of “Old Town Road” once users began making their own cowboy-themed videos to it. “I was pretty familiar with TikTok,” he told Time. “When I became a trending topic on there, it was a crazy moment for me. A lot of people will try to downplay it, but I saw it as something bigger.”
Lil Nas X, who’s real name is Montero Hill, chose the name way before the fame hit. “Nas has been my internet alias for a minute now,” Hill told Rolling Stone. “I had it just Lil Nas at first because every rapper has a ‘lil’ in front of his name, and that’s funny to me. I added the X [when I was] a couple songs in as a representation of how long [10 years] it should be before I’m at a legendary level.”
Listen to the song above and let us know your thoughts on Twitter @CelebMix!