Country at the Crossroads

Lil Nas X currently holds the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his surprise hit “Old Town Road.” But though the song is dripping with country twang, you won’t find it anywhere on the country charts. That’s because Billboard removed it, on the grounds of not having enough “musical elements” of country—a move that in turn left many wondering if the vanishing had something to do with Lil Nas X, a black artist, venturing into a field dominated by white musicians. We dig deep into the history and musical matter of “Old Town Road,” then pit it against other country hits to test its deep fried bonafides.

Songs Discussed

  • Lil Nas X – Old Town Road
  • Nine Inch Nails – 34 Ghosts IV
  • Beba Rexa – Mean to Be (feat. Florida Georgia Line)
  • Kelsea Ballerini – Miss You More
  • Sam Hunt – Speakers / Ghetto Cowboy – Bone Thugz N’ Harmony
  • Filmore – Love That About You
  • Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)
  • Hank Williams – Love Sick Blues
  • Emmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers – Lock Sick Blues

Other Links

  • Tanya Texas Tucker’s list of Black artists and their collaborations with country stars
  • Jezebel interview with Bri Malandro, originator of the “Yee Haw Agenda”