If you didn’t know of Billy Ray Cyrus‘ before, I guarantee you’re singing Lil Nas X‘s song “Old Town Road” that features him on it. My current pick for Music Monday’s Artist of the moment is Lil Nas X. This aspiring internet personality is my pick this week for artist of the moment.
Montero Lamar Hill [04/09/1999] known by his moniker Lil Nas X, is an aspiring entertainer. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia and was a trumpet player in forth grade. His breakout single “Old Town Road” has been number 1 on the Billboard’s Top 100 charts for 7 weeks straight. There was controversy about this song being considered a “country” song. Lil Nas X made it on to the country charts at number 19, and then was removed. The billboard gave the following statement:
“Upon further review, it was determined that “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard‘s country charts. When determining genres, a few factors are examined, but first and foremost is a musical composition. 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.”
People believe that this was a racially persuaded decision, even though billboard claims it has nothing to do with race.
I came across Lil Nas X on Tik Tok. There were so many videos of this song on there, I had to hear the whole song. I had to know why everyone was jamming this song so hard. Then when I went to Youtube to watch the video, long and behold, a black breddren (brother) making a country song. Country Trap is more like it. Though the billboards state this decision wasn’t racially motivated and that his music doesn’t have the elements of “country”, one could only ask, “What elements are needed to make a country song?”
I’m feeling Lil Nas X because he doesn’t care to fit into the crowd. How often do you see the African diaspora do country? Beyonce performed at a country award show back in 2016, but it’s like it never happened (click here to read about it). What message are the country billboards really sending? A deeper topic for another day…
For Lil Nas X to be able to get the African-American culture to jook (dance) to country is a rare moment in Hip Hop history. Not only does this show how this era of music is changing, but it’s becoming more acceptable to see the African diaspora step outside of the box and try something different.
“We don’t need to divide black, we need to diversify.” – Lady Mprez