Billy Ray Cyrus & Lil Nas X collab pulled down by Billboard for not being 'country' enough - The Sauce
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Billy Ray Cyrus & Lil Nas X collab pulled down by Billboard for not being ‘country’ enough

Miley Cyrus’ dad Billy Ray Cyrus took a risk collaborating with new age trap rapper Big Nas X.

The track ‘Old Country Road’ went viral for its interesting take on Country Music. The collaboration between college dropout Montero Lamar Hill aka Lil Nas X and Country music legend Billy Ray Cyrus was a straight win for the internet-sensation. The 19-year-old Atlanta rapper’s “Old Town Road” sat atop Billboard’s on-demand streaming chart, garnering 20.2 million listens just last week, and has broken into the top 15 on its general Hot 100 singles chart all thanks to his social media savvy according to Vulture.

However, it seems the young African-American boy’s talent was not well recognized by Billboard as it was pulled down from the Country Music charts. Despite the well-matched collaboration and a stamp of approval from the Country heavyweight Billy Ray Cyrus, it seems that some may not approve of the emergence of the new genre dubbed country trap.

Speaking about his formula for success, Vulture reports to facilitate his rise up the charts, Lil Nas X listed the song as country on iTunes and SoundCloud. He told Time that the track is a “country trap” genre-straddler. “He was going to these spaces, gaining a little bit of traction on their country charts, and there’s a way to manipulate the algorithm to push your track to the top,” Danny Kang, the co-manager of viral country-music kid star Mason Ramsey.

Country star John Rich also spoke out against the track. Despite the support online for the track, and Lil Nas X growing fanbase, the ‘Country Done Come To Town’ singer pointed out that he thought the song should not be labeled as ‘Country music.’ On an interview on Fox News Radio, owner of Redneck Riviera Whiskey said: “I don’t like people who try to piggyback on real country music.”

Fundamentally, the fact that Lil Nas X has been cast away as not being ‘country enough’ points to the fact that the concept of African Americans in the Wild West has received little attention. Apart from seeing Will Smith as a cowboy in the smash hit ‘Wild Wild West; the recent Solange release ‘Black Cowboys’ and now Lil Nas X could offer some revelations on a part of African American history often forgotten. According to Rolling Stone, the viral track may touch on more than just a social media savvy kid making it to the top of the charts. ‘Old Country Road’ is a trio of factors that bring awareness to lesser-known aspects of African-American culture. Rolling Stone states, those three stories are country music as a genre; the story of African-Americans’ role in country music; and then the third one is black cowboys as a cultural phenomenon.


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