New Boots: Lil Nas X

Is Old Town Road really country

Cover art for Lil Nas X's

Photo courtesy of forbes.com

Cover art for Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road Remix"

Mackenzie Gonzales, Staf Writer

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As society evolves country music does too. Over the years pop, R&B and rap have gained popularity. Country music has noticed this and has begun to incorporate pop sounds and artists into their sound.

Kelsea Ballerini collaborated with the Chainsmokers for “This Feeling.” Carrie Underwood and rapper Ludacris wrote Super Bowl song of the year “The Champion.” The biggest collab of the year was Florida Georgia Line’s “Meant To Be” with Bebe Rexha. Now, rapper Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus have taken the world by storm with “Old Town Road.”

Lil Nas X’s country/rap hybrid song (if you can even call any aspect of it country) “Old Town Road” was promoted more as a meme at first before it caught traction on the app TikTok. Eventually, the song began to appear on more platforms such as Spotify and iTunes. Most listeners noticed “Old Town Road” appeared under country.

The hybrid song also appeared on Billboard’s Top 100 Country chart and R&B and Rap’s Top 100 charts. A few days later “Old Town Road” was taken off country’s top 100. This brings listeners to ask the question ‘Is “Old Town Road” really country?’

The song starts with country artist Billy Ray Cyrus singing the refrain. Initially the song sounds country, but at the end of the verse the word “Kio” is heard.

Then the song switches to the verse everyone knows by heart now from the infamous TikToks where users switch from normal clothes to western clothes.

Throughout the song there are trap drums heard in the background. Traditionally trap drums are not heard in country music which is what leads me to believe this song is not country.

The more I listened to the song the more I cringed. “Old Town Road” was filled with stereotypical lyrics about what it means to be country. No country song would use the lines “Lean all in my bladder/Cheated on my baby/You can go and ask her.” For those of you who don’t know lean is a purple drink made of prescription strength cough medicine, soft drinks, and hard candies. Country music is also about being loyal to your significant other. That is the type of thing I expect to hear in rap. The verse then continues with the lyrics “Bull ridin’ and boobies/Cowboy hat from Gucci/Wrangler on my booty.” No respectable country song would ever use these lyrics.

Billy Ray Cyrus comes back in during verse three. Cyrus sings “Baby’s got a habit: diamond rings and Fendi sports bras/Ridin’ down Rodeo in my Maserati sports car.” Again, not country song would ever use these lyrics. Not to mention no country girl would ever ask for a $135 sports bra.

“Old Town Road” is a song that name drops luxury items such as Gucci, Fendi, and Maserati yet talks about the simple life.

Just because the song mentions horses, boots and Wrangler does not mean it is country. So in turn “Old Town Road” is not a country song.

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