‘Bitter Southerner’ Posts False Timeline of Lil Nas X Removal
UPDATE 6/17/19 1:45 CDT: After initially refusing to fix the timeline of their story and refuting Saving Country Music’s facts, ‘Bitter Southerner’ has updated their story to portray Saving Country Music’s initial article on Lil Nas X as being published after he was removed from the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, not before.
– – – – – – – – –
Once again a major periodical has presented a completely false timeline for the removal of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” from the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in an attempt to pin the inspiration for the removal on Saving Country Music. Joining Pitchfork writer Sheldon Pearce in an article published on April 1st, and an article posted on April 9th by Rachel Leah on Salon, the Bitter Southerner article written by Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD published on June 13th goes out of its way to specifically state that Saving Country Music’s first article on Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road” was posted before the removal.
“Not too long before Billboard yanked “Old Town Road” off its country charts and Billy Ray Cyrus saw an opportunity, Saving Country Music, the decade-old site edited by contrarian critic Kyle ”The Triggerman” Coroneos, wrote….” the article states. See screenshot below:
But of course this is completely incorrect. As Saving Country Music has now been forced to clarify multiple times, including in detail in the article Lil Nas X, The Media Echo Chamber, and Shane Morris’s Vile Past, “Old Town Road” was removed from the Hot Country Songs chart by Billboard on the chart first made public on March 18th, which can be verified in Billboard’s Country Update publication published on March 18th. Saving Country Music first addressed the issue five days after that, on March 23rd. Saving Country Music’s comments came after the removal, not before, and this is clearly and easily verifiable.
This is not a trivial concern. The result of this incorrect reporting by Pitchfork, Salon, now Bitter Southerner and others is to present a timeline where country music purists had pressured Billboard to removed the song as opposed to Billboard coming to their own conclusion independently after it was determined the song was not appropriate for the charts. This misrepresentation of the timeline—purposeful or accidental—is being used to imply racism was behind Billboard’s decision.
As Lil Nas X’s manager Danny Kang has admitted, Lil Nas X chose country as the genre for “Old Town Road” in metadata listings to game the system, and to receive more traction since the song would chart better in country where it would face less competition. Danny Kang told Rolling Stone on March 26th, “There’s a way to manipulate the algorithm to push your track to the top. That’s favorable versus trying to go to the rap format to compete with the most popular songs in the world.”
The Bitter Southerner article also asks, “Would Coroneos have made a similar assertion about Aldean and Ludacris’ ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ remix and its recognition as a country rap song?”
But there is not reason to present that question as a hypothetical. Bitter Southerner and Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD could simply check the Saving Country Music archives via the search window and immediately determine that “Dirt Road Anthem” was vehemently opposed here. The song received a 0/10 grade, and it’s effects, including the collaboration with Ludacris, were covered in detail in the article, How Hip-Hop Stole Country: The Arrival of the Mono-Genre posted in 2013.
Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD then goes on to say, “…an artist must identify as a country artist for their music to be considered country rap, country trap, or country hip hop by the country music industry, where most of the chart-topping country artists are white and male,” implying that the only reason that Lil Nas X was opposed by Saving Country Music is because he’s African American, while Jason Aldean was given a reprieve because he was white—which of course didn’t happen. Nor did it happen for Bebe Rexha and her song “Meant To Be.” Saving Country Music posted nine dedicated articles imploring Billboard to remove the song from the country charts to no avail.
More than just the mistakes and poorly researched implications by Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD and Bittern Southerner, the glaring timeline mistake at this late stage of the debate clearly shows that both confirmation bias, and a media echo chamber continues to persist around the “Old Town Road” issue. Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD did not independently research her facts, she simply took the wrong information published by now a dozen or more outlets and posted it as her own. This is the same echo chamber that still has now discredited Twitter personality Shane Morris still listed as a “former country music label executive” in The New York Times, The Guardian, and other places, despite coming out as a liar himself in a lengthy mea culpa.
Attacking country music (and Saving Country Music by proxy) for the removal of Lil Nas X has become fashion on social media, with now PhD’s actively engaging in posting falsehoods to present a specter of racism that despite country music’s spotty history, does not exist whatsoever when it comes to Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road.” However the accusations do have implications for those being accused of racism under false pretenses and with incorrect facts.
***UPDATE 11:45 a.m. CDT
Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD has responded to Saving Country Music’s concerns on Twitter by saying that the timeline presented was not incorrect, citing the Salon article posted on April 9th by Rachel Leah as her verification that Saving Country Music’s first article on Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road” was posted before the song’s removal by Billboard. However as was illustrated and verified above, Salon‘s representation of the timeline was also incorrect, and was originally debunked by Saving Country Music on April 12th in the article Lil Nas X, The Media Echo Chamber, and Shane Morris’s Vile Past.
Furthermore, by Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD citing the Salon article as her source that the removal of “Old Town Road” came after Saving Country Music’s article, she is emphasizing and underscoring that it was indeed a media echo chamber as opposed to independent research that led to her inaccurate portrayal of the timeline in the first place. Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD even screenshot the excerpt from the Salon article as her evidence.
“What’s unprofessional are the lies you’re telling right now to discredit my essay for calling you out,” Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD said in a tweet posted Monday morning. “Your op-Ed was written BEFORE the song was pulled.”
But once again, this is easily verifiable as being incorrect by simply looking at when Saving Country Music posted its initial article, and when Billboard removed “Old Town Road” from the Hot Country songs chart. Billboard made the removal on March 18th. Saving Country Music first addressed the issue five days after that, on March 23rd.
June 17, 2019 @ 8:45 am
I know people are tired of reading these articles. But when the efforts of Saving Country Music are being misrepresented to imply racism, they must be addressed. Now, back the regularly scheduled programming…
June 17, 2019 @ 9:37 am
This is what happens when “journalists” become activists and operate on a basis of ideology instead of facts. This is super important and troubling, not just in country music journalism, but in journalism in general. You’ll never convince the ideologically motivated outrage mob, but what you’re doing is super important to the rest of us, and also the people who might be on the fence and are open minded. I for one, love that you are fighting the good fight. Thank you
Atomic Zombie Redneck
June 17, 2019 @ 11:09 am
You absolutely should be sharing news like this. What’s happening is appalling, and people need to know the truth.
King Honky Of Crackershire
June 18, 2019 @ 9:26 am
You’re trying to convince mentally ill people that 1+1=2.
Instead, what you should do when someone calls you racist, is post a photo of yourself wearing a Klan suit, and hope it makes them cry, and then continue trolling them for as long as you’re amused by it. Then, find some more idiots to laugh at.
June 18, 2019 @ 5:05 pm
If you post photos of yourself wearing a Klan suit, then the only point you’re making is that you’re a racist. People are not going to follow your “No,-I-meant-it-only-ironically.–I-wore-a-Klan-suit-to-call-out-people-who-falsely-call-me-a-racist–Not-to-express-any-affinity-for-the-Klan” rhetoric.
That would be the end of this site as a respectable country music venue.
Thankfully, Trig is not that sort of “idiot.”
June 21, 2019 @ 8:42 am
I agree with you, Luckyoldsun. These are the people who dug up a photo of a white high school basketball team making a 3-pointer/OKAY sign to claim they were making white supremacist signs. They don’t care what you mean if they can find anything.
Also, great article. The initial article was my first intro to Lil Nas X so I was excited to see this one
June 19, 2019 @ 4:59 am
Love ya Trig!
June 17, 2019 @ 9:16 am
Joycelyn Wilson is a race-baiting troll and an embarrassment to anybody who has ever worked hard and sacrificed to earn a PhD. Can’t believe she implied that you were a defender of “dirt road anthem,” she literally did zero research on this site and has no understanding of what its purpose is.
June 17, 2019 @ 10:09 am
And yet she markets herself as an expert in qualitative research. If journalists had any standards or integrity, Wilson would now be shunned. Which is why I think this is a great career move. Now it’s in the journalist’s cya interest to support her even more.
Out here in the cornfields, we call those people and everyone who believes them “citiots.”
Good luck out there.
June 17, 2019 @ 9:18 am
PhD is short for “Phony Doctor.”
I’m not tired of these articles, Trig. These “writers” need to be held accountable.
June 17, 2019 @ 11:41 am
Or post hole digger, my dad used to have business cards with that on there haha
June 17, 2019 @ 3:22 pm
Yes, I spent many summers as a kid earning my “PhD” in the Texas sun.
June 17, 2019 @ 5:34 pm
PhD – Piled higher & Deeper…
June 17, 2019 @ 9:24 am
Old Town Road isn’t even a good rap song much less a country song. Mo Thug – Ghetto Cowboy was a better “country rap” song than OTR. You betta count your money…
June 17, 2019 @ 9:25 am
She’s a disgrace. Keep up the good work.
June 17, 2019 @ 9:27 am
I don’t know if you addressed this yet but it would be like entering Dirt Road Anthem on the Hot Rap Songs chart. Billboard did the right thing. Just because an artist records a song with elements of another genre doesn’t mean they are suddenly that genre. I was surprised to see all the sub categories in R&B/Hip Hop. Maybe a few more country sub categories are in order? The Americana/Folk category is a joke btw.
June 17, 2019 @ 9:43 am
A wise man once sang, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”
June 17, 2019 @ 9:50 am
Aaron Tippin is a gem, yes. Truly an underrated discography.
June 18, 2019 @ 5:14 pm
I like Aaron Tippin–the early stuff, before he became a self-parody.
But John Cougar Mellencamp sang those words before Tippin even moved to Nashville.
June 17, 2019 @ 9:50 am
I’m just surprised that the song is still #1 on Billboard. I thought the meme novelty would’ve expired at this point. I was watching an Anthony Fantano video where a commenter described “Old Town Road” as this generation’s “Kung Fu Fighting” and I think that’s a pretty accurate comparison.
June 17, 2019 @ 10:06 am
Welcome to today’s reporting. Journalism now is an occupation one step below prostitution.
June 17, 2019 @ 10:09 am
6 months from now…. lil nas who?
June 17, 2019 @ 10:10 am
The story has been updated above. Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, PhD is doubling down on her timeline for the removal of “Old Town Road,” and citing the incorrect timeline posted by ‘Salon’ that I’ve exposed numerous times (including in this very article) as her source.
June 17, 2019 @ 10:28 am
This woman is psychotic and delusional. How in the world did she ever get a PHD if she can’t even understand basic research of a timeline. This evidence is IRREFUTABLE. Does she not even see how imbecilic this makes her look? And the nerve to call Trig a liar…wow…speechless…
More proof that these kind of people are opposed to facts. Facts get in the way of narrative, so counter them by denying entirely said facts and maybe you can get some fool to believe you.
June 17, 2019 @ 11:24 am
Instead of arguing with the Doc, you should spend your time doing something more productive, like banging your head against the wall !
You see, Old Town Road is Ms Wilson’s favorite song…and her favorite line from said song is,
“Can’t nobody tell me nothingggggggg!!!!!!!!”
June 17, 2019 @ 10:19 am
Just listened to it again and it doesn’t even have elements of country music, it’s just a very, very forgettable rap song with dumb lyrics about being a cowboy. Honestly, I like hip hop, but this guy’s delivery is monotone with no energy or charisma.
De La Soul’s Three Feet High and Rising was a million times more country than this and I don’t think anyone thought that should have been on the country chart.
June 17, 2019 @ 3:10 pm
I agree that OTR does not belong on the country charts. But I wouldn’t call it a bad song. Good lord it is catchy as hell!
June 17, 2019 @ 10:31 am
Doubles down by citing one article and not researching further. LOL. You couldn’t make this shit up.
June 17, 2019 @ 10:45 am
Why is it so hard for these dumb writers to research information? Timeline issues alone, Billboard only listens to Billboard. They control the charts. Pretty sure they don’t let people dictate it for them. “Meant to Be” is a prime example of that.
Atomic Zombie Redneck
June 17, 2019 @ 10:52 am
Joycelyn Wilson should be ashamed of herself. What a dishonest, incompetent hack. Absolutely disgraceful.
June 17, 2019 @ 10:53 am
Trig, Joycelyn Wilson puts letters after her name. 3 letters! You mustn’t debate her claims.
June 17, 2019 @ 11:20 am
The Bitter Southerner is one of the media outlets that I still respect. This is disappointing. It’s not hard to do independent research. I’ve also heard of them using other folks photos without credit. Maybe I like their mission more than the execution.
June 17, 2019 @ 12:28 pm
There is no independent research nor reporting. It all follows the leftist ideology, facts be damned.
June 17, 2019 @ 11:28 am
I understand this issue is somewhat convoluted. But if anyone wanted to easily and absolutely verify that Saving Country Music’s article came out five days after the removal of “Old Town Road” from the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, all you have to do is go to two places:
First, go to the Billboard Country Update posted on March 18th, and go to page 13, which clearly shows “Old Town Road” has been removed.
Second, go to Saving Country Music’s very first Lil Nas X article, clearly posted on March 23rd, which by the way, makes specific reference to the song already having been removed days before:
IT’S. THAT. SIMPLE.
June 17, 2019 @ 11:56 am
I’ve been following the good doctors tweets….she now acknowledges that she had the time line wrong….but writes this,
“No sir! There is a difference between an inaccuracy and the truth. We made an inaccuracy for which we acknowledge. However, changing “before” to “after” changes absolutely nothing to the LARGER POINT I make. I’m surprised you don’t know the difference.”
It’s hard to fight this kind of…….”logic” …….
June 17, 2019 @ 1:32 pm
The good doctor can have whatever opinions she wants, however misguided. Obviously, I disagree with her assertions, but I respect her opinions and everyone elses. But what I can’t have is outright lies tied to my name, and it’s happened over and over on this Lil Nas X story.
June 17, 2019 @ 12:14 pm
And there we have it. Old Town Road was #19 in the Hot Country Songs Chart for week ending 3/16:
In the 3/18 update, for Hot Country Songs, there is no #19 in the Last Week column. However, #18 and #20 in the Last Week column match #18 and #20 in week ending 3/16 list. End of story.
June 17, 2019 @ 12:58 pm
I was told there would be no math on my PhD exam.
June 17, 2019 @ 11:55 am
After battling with the writer and editor for the last three hours, ‘Bitter Southerner’ has finally corrected their timeline. Though their initial article was still disappointing and the updated article includes information I would still refute, correcting clear mistakes is something that NPR, The New York Times, Slate, Pictchfork, The Guardian, and others have refused to do with their incorrect reporting via Lil Nas X, so I give Bitter Southerner a lot of credit. We all make mistakes. I certainly have. But it’s important to correct them when they’re identified.
June 17, 2019 @ 12:06 pm
Real glad to hear this. I’m a big fan of Bitter Southerner. Makes me happy to know they bucked up and admitted to their mistake.
June 17, 2019 @ 1:31 pm
I have been a avid reader and advocate of many of the outlets that have posted incorrect information around this Lil Nas X story, and I can’t tell you how frustrating, demoralizing, and downright lonely it can make one feel when you see outright wrong stuff posted in them, especially when you’re the person being quoted and mischaracterized. I became a writer because I believe it’s an important medium. To see what has happened around this Lil Nas X story has shaken me to my very core. But at least they made a correction, while Ben Sisario at the New York Times, the writer at Salon, and others willfully allow their inaccuracies to sustain, which directly led to Bitter Southerner getting it wrong as well. For some reason, this Lil Nas X story seems to be a license to lie.
June 17, 2019 @ 12:12 pm
That is positive to hear. My faith is restored for in the Bitter Southerner. As you said, we all make mistakes. If only other media outlets would take ownership.
June 17, 2019 @ 12:21 pm
Even without the inaccuracies, it’s anti-country drivel. They should know better than to publish such ignorant material.
June 17, 2019 @ 1:25 pm
I read the Slate article about this song, and didn’t see any timeline errors (or any mention of SCM). In all, it seemed like a pretty good article – blaming Billboard for the whole thing, and advocating that fans of a genre should be the ones who determine what qualifies. What did you see as being in error?
June 17, 2019 @ 1:45 pm
Sorry, I meant Salon, not Slate. The Slate article was one of the few decent ones on the subject.
June 17, 2019 @ 12:08 pm
Bitter southerner is a trash website. It’s hard to ignore, especially when you are being slandered, but make no mistake about it, it’s not worth the time. The BS should stand for Bull Shit.
June 17, 2019 @ 12:58 pm
Seen some fun sides to this song.. A bunch of kids at a school having time of their lives at a live appearance.
Also, the child with autism, who for some unknown reason, attached to this song and started to actually communicate.
Ultimately, music is meant to be enjoyed.
June 17, 2019 @ 3:45 pm
The fact that these people are going after this website proves conclusively that what motivates their writing is not any kind of genuine interest in (let alone love of) Country Music. If they had any interest whatsoever in any of the many varieties of Country, from the mainstream to the most deeply buried underground kind, they would have read Saving Country Music at least occasionally and they would know what it stands for. Their laughably incorrect assumptions on this point demonstrate the falsity of the concern about the state of Country Music they’re putting on show in the drivel they write.
June 17, 2019 @ 4:01 pm
But Erin Rae just released two transcendentally beautiful new songs, so life is good.
June 17, 2019 @ 3:53 pm
Bitter Southerner used to be good. Now it is nothing more than an organ for white social justice hipsters. There was only one way they could possibly be interested in this story, and an objective reading of facts was not going to be productive to pushing the agenda that they want.
June 17, 2019 @ 4:17 pm
Keep up the good fight. It seems like a losing battle fighting against modern journalism. Whenever something needs corrected, I encourage you to do so. It may seem like rummaging through the garbage dump to find a good apple, it is not worth the trip. Yet, someone has to call these idiots out.
June 18, 2019 @ 10:34 am
I love it when these “journalists” spew their nonsense as “fact” and then don’t open the article up to comments so it can be discussed. Very telling.
June 18, 2019 @ 12:01 pm
i listened to that song. its worse than wheeler walker jr.
June 18, 2019 @ 2:13 pm
Here’s a thought, if country music is racist for not allowing a black artist (even though we all clearly know there’s been black artists who have charted), does that make rap/hip hop racist for having little to none white artists?
June 18, 2019 @ 3:38 pm
If we play their music, it’s “cultural appropriation.”
June 18, 2019 @ 5:24 pm
The Bitter Southerner is one of those groups that sells out their Southern heritage to try to gain the approval of other groups that will never accept them no matter how much they grovel.
This Yankee loves the South and her traditions. Don’t change in the false hope of getting acceptance by coastal elites who will never consider Southerners to be equals.
Nothing is more tragic than betrayal from within. This article is just another bullet in the grand tradition of Dixie betrayed.
June 18, 2019 @ 6:05 pm
This PhD lady is, by her own acknowledgment, bitter.
Her website sucks.
It’s just leftist drivel.
June 19, 2019 @ 12:34 am
Your articles on this remain vital and important. As I’ve said before, this whole incident has shaken me. I find myself questioning what other inaccuracies are appearing on these websites. Overall, I’m just much more critical of what I read online. I’m glad they acknowledged the inaccuracies, but I think more fact checking should have been done. It’s still shocking to me that credible and reputable news sites reported so many lies about this story and didn’t do much research. It seems to be a sign of deeper systemic problems–social media echo chambers, the changing media landscape that is all about controversy and clicks, the promotion of certain narratives irrespective of facts, and the lack of critical thinking in general. As always, your reporting is appreciated.
June 19, 2019 @ 10:24 pm
That whole site is like one big march into the mind of a cultureless, identity-less nothing. You could swear that they’re of the same well-off plantation owner mindset living in fancy houses and social bubbles. That is, regardless of an individual writer’s background and race on The Bitter Southerner. They are a representation of gentrification of the mind with their website being the cheap real estate.
Give it a few years and that site will fade into the ‘domain name for sale’ trash bin.