Johnny, George and Conway are rolling over in their graves right now because a rapper sits atop the country music charts. And it sucks.
A couple weeks ago Billboard magazine, which in my humble opinion is the ONLY legitimate country chart out there, had Lil Nas X, whoever the heck that is, sitting at number 19 with a song entitled, “Old Town Road”. I guess what made it “country” was a banjo lick, that was probably sampled. Long story short, the magazine pulled it because it wasn’t country enough. They immediately drew fire because critics said the move was made to keep a black artist off the chart. Seriously? I have socks that are more country than that “song”.
Now, people will argue some of today’s country is in the same league, not sounding “country enough”. But listen, these are established country music artists. Crossovers are nothing new in the business and if a Maren Morris or Luke Bryan scores a popular music hit, it broadens the exposure to the genre we all enjoy. But with Nas X, or X or whatever the last name is, it’s a poor attempt at headlines. Problem is he got them. Some country artists came to his support but by and large Billboard stuck to their guns. Until this happened…
A remix of the tune was released with Billy Ray Cyrus collaborating. Billboard backtracked and on the strength of streams and the novelty and the sales. “Old Town Road” rode the wave to number one not only on Spotify but Billboard as well. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t belong there. I’m not going to play it unless I’m told to. Sorry Mr. X.
The ACM’s showed us all what country was as King George Strait took the stage. I’m not the biggest Chris Stapleton fan but damn, the man is COUNTRY! Kacey Musgraves is, too which is why she nailed the female artist of the year award. Nas X is a novelty, a quirk and a mistake. If this is the future of the genre, it’s time for me to retire.