Black people really have to be magic.
We can’t just show up with talent, we have to showout.
It was just a couple of years ago Beyonce was shunned by the country music community with her smash country hit “Daddy Lessons”. Billboard and the powers that be wouldn’t let her compete on a country platform because her song, even with the Dixie Chicks, wasn’t country enough. Even though “Daddy Lessons” didn’t get the acclaim it deserved for breaking ground in a genre typically not for us, her album that it was featured on, Lemonade, went platinum and received a multitude of accolades.
It was surprising she didn’t make more noise all things considered but Lil Nas X’s new country single “Old Town Road” has brought the attention back to country music negative disposition towards black artists.
In case you haven’t heard, Lil Nas X is a singer, rapper and producer who created a country hit with “Old Town Road”. His single has literally risen on the charts and iTunes. Billboard’s decision to disqualify Lil Nas X’s song from the country charts is clearly misguided. That’s when the king of country himself, Billy Ray Cyrus, stepped in with the remix to give the song some country cred.
Can Billboard still say this isn’t a country song?
Billy Ray killed it too. This ringing endorsement fuses country with trap music. The infectious beat. Banjo in the background. Even Billy Ray is bragging about Maserati sport cars and big diamonds. This song clearly belongs in a hop hop and country category. This song also shows the power of music and how we really aren’t that different.
Kudos to Lil Nas X, an Atlanta native, for being different and pushing boundaries. Country music may not want us but we are bussing down doors with talent and creativity.
Whether they like it or not.