Danae Workman | Staff Writer
The media is calling it “country trap music,” and others have referred to it as “hick hop.” The trend has been getting a positive response from the public. Lil Nas X introduced this new wave with his hit single “Old Town Road,” mixing the smooth tunes of the guitar and fiddle with the beats of hip-hop to produce this track.
With all the positive responses to Lil Nas X’s songs, it is no surprise that the song debuted on three Billboard charts: Hip Hop/R&B, the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs.
Billboard removed the song from the country chart stating that it “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.” Many have defended Lil Nas X against the apparent reasoning of Billboard’s removal of the song. It has been challenging for black artists to chart in the country category.
Throughout the debates and backlash, Billy Ray Cyrus jumped on the remix, adding his flair onto the track, and it quickly made its way back onto the country charts. In light of the controversy, people are showing a liking to the new genre. People have made choreography, dance videos and music following this trend. R&B artist K. Michelle recently leaked a snippet of a country song she plans on dropping soon.
Even though the country genre recently made its way into the black community today, we must acknowledge that country music origins set in the black culture. We Are Your Voice magazine states, “The book Blues People by LeRoi Jones, also known as Amiri Baraka, artfully explains the historical connection between black culture and American music such as: blues, country, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. Country music was created by African-Americans living in the rural South, employing elements of the blues (also created by black people) and the banjo — originally an African instrument.”
The genre has been watered down throughout the decades. There are many black artists who are overlooked in this genre, but it is likely that Lil Nas X single won’t be the last country rap song we will come across in the future.