What You Need to Know: Lil Nas X

Billboard removes rapper Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' from country charts

genre-defying song from rapper Lil Nas X debuted  on multiple Billboard charts, but its entry was removed from the country genre.

Rolling Stone reported that Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” which contains elements of trap music, country and R&B, was quietly removed from the Hot Country Songs chart. It debuted on the Hot 100, the Hot Country Songs and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts at the same time, according to the publication.

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“Upon further review, it was determined that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard‘s country charts,” Billboard said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “When determining genres, a few factors are examined, but first and foremost is 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.” 

A source who requested anonymity told Rolling Stone the inclusion of “Old Town Road” on the chart was a mistake. Billboard did not publicly announce the change before issuing a statement to Rolling Stone.

This undated image provided by Columbia Records shows rapper Lil Nas X, whose viral hit "Old Town Road" was removed from Billboard's country charts because they said it wasn't country enough
Photo: Eric Lagg/AP

Lil Nas X declined to comment through a representative, but has commented on the news on Twitter and has retweeted support from other artists.

“Old town road was sadly removed from the Billboard Country charts yesterday,” he wrote in  a comment on his YouTube visual for the song. “I want to say thank you to all of you who help me get it there in the first place tho! I love y’all fr!” 

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