• Clint Johnson

Is Lil Nas X Country?

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

Since the explosive debut of Lil Nas X and his mega-hit "Old Town Road", there have been numerous debates about if he's country or not. Many believe country music is all in the sound, others believe it's in the lifestyle. I, myself, can see both sides. Traditional country fans feel as though it's mocking their culture and "real" country music doesn't have 808s and a kid with a fake accent.

When "Old Town Road" was released, it wasn't that big, but due to Red Dead Redemption fans placing gameplay videos over the song and multiple TikTok videos, the song blew up. The song debuted on the Billboard 100, Hot Country Songs and Hot Hip-Hop/R&B Songs charts but Billboard quietly removed the track from the country charts, stating that it didn't have enough of the elements that country today has. This also happened to megastar Beyonce and her song "Daddy Lessons". When asked how he felt about the song being taken down, Lil Nas X said he was "extremely disappointed" and that felt that song was country and trap, so it should be on both charts.

Then to make the song even bigger, veteran country star Billy Ray Cyrus added a verse to the "Old Town Road Remix". He felt as though he could relate to Lil Nas X because he was once taken off the country charts because he wasn't country enough. Even with country music trying to hold the song down, the remix ended up breaking for the longest-running song as No. 1 for 17 weeks.

I don't think Lil Nas X is country. I think Lil Nas X is an artist and makes music according to how he feels and Old Town Road was a result of that. When I listened to his EP, 7, He shifts through all kinds of genres: country, hip-hop, R&B, pop and even dabbles in rock. Lil Nas X was shunned from the country charts for incorporating the genre into his song but country artists now do it all the time. If you turn on country radio right now, you're

Getty Images
Lil Nas X won 2 MTV Video Music Awards for Song Of The Year and Best Direction, For "Old Town Road".

going to hear a little rock in this song, a little pop in that song, and some R&B in the next. Country music even made their own rap genre of country rap, also known as hick-hop. Some notable country rap artists include Colt Ford, UpChurch, and some even cite Nelly, who's verse to the Cruise (Remix) made the song the first country single to go diamond. Country singer Dylan Scott says he doesn't think the song is country but country fans don't even consider him country. I just want to know why country music can incorporate other genres but other genres can't incorporate country. Let me know what genre you think the song is!


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