Luke Combs Is Latest Artist to Oppose Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”
It’s not Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, or Florida Georgia Line who can claim to be the biggest artist in all of country music at the moment. It’s Luke Combs, who’s been blowing out records, selling incredible amounts of albums, dominating radio, and doing something we haven’t seen since Chris Stapleton exploded on the country scene a few years ago, except even bigger. Still on his first major label release, Luke Combs is already selling out arenas, and promises to be one of the biggest artists, if not the biggest artist in mainstream country for years to come.
At last weekend’s Stagecoach Festival in California, one of the major stories should have been how Combs took the stage after releasing five straight #1 singles to start his career, making him the first artist to ever accomplish this feat in the SoundScan era staring in 1990. This includes his latest #1 “Beautiful Crazy,” which spent an unheard of seven weeks dominating country radio at #1 leading up to Stagecoach.
But instead the focus at Stagecoach was Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus who showed up for a one song performance of “Old Town Road.” In the midst of the continued, obsequious focus on the song by the media, the LA Times interviewed Combs, calling him the “country superstar you probably haven’t hear of,” underscoring both the understated nature of Luke’s success, and the continued ignorance of the country genre by most in the media paid to cover it. And of course, Luke Combs had to be asked about Lil Nas X.
In the interview, Luke Combs became the second major mainstream country artist to question the quality and viability of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” and not because of the ethnicity of the entertainer, but from the complete lack of substance of quality the 1:53-long track includes. Combs also feels like the song could be lampooning country culture as opposed to promoting it.
“Yeah, it’s pretty catchy,” Combs told the LA Times. “But I feel there’s a little bit of sarcasm there I don’t necessarily appreciate. I feel like I’m being poked fun at a bit. Country music is near and dear to my heart, and one of the things that’s most important to me is that the music should be taken seriously.”
In early April, the Brothers Osborne also severely questioned the track, both in quality, and how it was taking away precious attention from more worthy artists.
“There are tons of girls just waiting for the moment, waiting in line, writing the right songs, showing up everyday to the writing room, sometimes doing two or three or four writes a day,” John Osborne said. “They’ve been in Nashville for over 10 years. There’s a girl in Nashville right now called Hailey Whitters who’s incredible. You go check her music out and you’re like, ‘Come on, we need to get this girl propped up.’ Then this dude puts out a song with kind of quasi country lyrics? Something about a horse, boobies and some shit?”
“Let’s turn the focus away from that,” John Osborne continued. “Don’t create controversy and expect that to give you a hall pass. We need great songs. Go listen to Kris Kristofferson, and then go listen to that song, and if you tell me they have anything to do with each other, then I will quit.”
Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road” have ridden the controversy surrounding the song to now four straight weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. However its attempt to be re-added to the country charts appears to have failed, at least for the moment. Last week “Old Town Road” was the most added track to country radio on a relatively light week for new song releases, and ended up at #50 on the Billboard Country Airplay charts, bringing into question whether it should be re-added to Billboard’s Hot Country Songs index. But this week “Old Town Road” has been virtually abandoned, receiving marginal new spins, and falling completely out of the Top 60. Despite all the track’s success, barring a miracle, country appears to have staved off the effort to include it on country charts. Make no mistake though, the controversy surrounding the song will continue to swirl, with media demanding the song be considered for country awards come later this year.
READ: Lil Nas X, The Media Echo Chamber, and Shane Morris’s Vile Past
The words of Luke Combs, the Brothers Osborne, and others accentuate that beyond whatever controversy may be surrounding “Old Town Road” about if it is country or not, or if it was taken off the charts due to ethnicity, it’s just not a good song no matter what genre you want to classify it as, or who the performer happens to be. And to many, “Old Town Road” is not something influenced by country, but satirizing it, giving all the more reason not to consider it a legitimate song within the country scene. If people enjoy the song, that’s all that should matter to them. But unless it is something that is willing to embrace the spirit of country music, it’s not something that should matter to the country music community.
Atomic Zombie Redneck
April 30, 2019 @ 10:21 am
Country or not (and it’s not, end of discussion), Old Town Road isn’t even really a song. It’s a gimmick aimed at garnering 15 minutes of fame for someone with no actual musical skill whatsoever.
April 30, 2019 @ 10:53 am
That song is hot garbage. End of story. Dont care what it is it sure as hell aint any kind of music especially country. No kernels of popcorn for rhis shit!! End of story
May 1, 2019 @ 11:33 am
who cares??????…i love country music, and i’m not a fan of this song, so let it run it’s course.
April 30, 2019 @ 10:21 am
Interesting, the only two contemporary “mainstream” country artists I dig are speaking truth about this. Luke Combs and Brothers Osborne. I have even more respect for those guys now. Interesting that Combs touched on something I knew in my heart, but wasn’t necessarily conscious of. “Old Town Road” mocks country. It co-opts country as cheap irony, and treats it with utter contempt and mockery.
I think that explains a lot regarding why non-country people got riled up and threw their undying support at it. Because they already have a derisive opinion of country and watching this unknown goofball step in with this novelty “joke” track, and crush the charts, was an obvious slap in the face of country music itself.
Have we heard about EDM bro Diplo going country now? Their performance at Stagecoach (Diplo, Lil Nas X, and Billy Ray Cyrus), to the inexplicable delight of the crowd, was an absolute joke – with these guys dressed up like rodeo clowns, jumping around onstage, squeezing the last bit of hype from this thing. At this point Billy Ray Cyrus (and Diplo, by association) is the country equivalent of a blackface minstrel. Jumping on a fleeting gravy train, all the while mocking the art form itself, its true practitioners, and its patrons simultaneously. Horrendous.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
April 30, 2019 @ 1:02 pm
That Diplo deal was weird all right. The guy comes out in a bedazzled jacket remixing Life Is a Highway and Tequila and expects to be considered country. Hopefully it’ll just be another one of those things that just gets ignored. Don’t forget the Property Brothers tried to go country last year.
April 30, 2019 @ 5:33 pm
I do recall a line from a country song saying something like ” Don’t no one around do the Dougie but the girls they still love me” in a rap style cadence. If Lil Nas X is “dissing” country between the lines then that was disrespecting hip hop and the Old Town Road track is well deserved. But old town road isn’t a diss. He genuinely likes country and listens to country. Just not very well at making country music in comparison to say Jimmy Allen . I believe you just want a reason to believe it’s a dis so your inner racist feels better about itself. With most of the younger country artists appropriating hip hop terms and culture to sell music being a thing and you only liking “two current” artist, Who both do not seem to appropriate hip hop, tells me that you have inner bigotry and you don’t like the other boys cuz their style caters closer to hip hop than old country. What you should know though is, without those younger artists snatching hip hop culture and mannerisms for their music, then country would be dead. Without them when the last baby boomer conservative died, country would go with them. You should be happy that somebody put some life back into a dieing art.
April 30, 2019 @ 7:43 pm
LOL this guy.
April 30, 2019 @ 8:02 pm
I have to say that’s about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Sad part is you probably believe what you are saying. Always looking for that non-existent racist in everything.
May 1, 2019 @ 4:25 am
You gotta do better than that. That paragraph lacked intelligence and humor. Terrible.
May 1, 2019 @ 9:18 am
Google his name and you’ll see why.
May 1, 2019 @ 5:22 pm
Wow. What a fuck. He looks like a zombie who slammed so much meth that he had to get a replacement grill at the free clinic. Eat shit, moron.
May 1, 2019 @ 4:45 am
“What you should know though is, without those younger artists snatching hip hop culture and mannerisms for their music, then country would be dead. Without them when the last baby boomer conservative died, country would go with them. You should be happy that somebody put some life back into a dieing art.”
I whole-heartedly disagree. If country radio truly embraced real country artists and pushed them to the masses, COUNTRY MUSIC WOULD BE ALIVE AND WELL, thriving with songs that are meant to stand the test of time, meant to be heard as part of an album of songs, and meant to last for generations, like the pioneers of Country Music intended. Artists and songwriters could go back to making a living doing what they love, instead of peddling music and playing gigs while holding down a day job.
I think Trigger was trying to draw a comparison between what Luke Combs is doing and what artists like Lil Nas X are doing.
May 20, 2019 @ 7:23 pm
If they actually played more country music I might come back. Can’t stand all the BS Florida-Georgia line sound alikes. I love all types of music, always have loved rap/hip-hop. Joyner Lucas, Hopsin, Kendrick, are all outstanding modern artists. This song is trash, get beyond the country aspect of it. The lyrics are dumb, generic trap beat, partial autotuned effects. It’s just a bad song much like the other lil artists of the past few years.
May 1, 2019 @ 7:05 am
Rob > Rob Distro. Quit manufacturing racism where it isn’t at.
May 1, 2019 @ 12:44 pm
Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” is a perfect example of garbage non-country masquerading as a country song. I’m glad you drew attention to the similarities between it and “Old Town Road”.
Most younger country artists are not going hip-hop/EDM/R&B/whatever, they are just being summarily ignored by the short-sighted, money-grubbing pigs who control access to the top of the industry in favor of fleeting non-country pop trends.
Appropriating racism to people based on the music they like is in itself ignorant and prejudiced, as is assuming a political association and age bracket for an entire group based on it. I do not fit into the 3 boxes you drew, and there are many more like me.
Country music became the pop music of its time at a moment in our nation’s history when its agrarian makeup had already urbanized to the point that more people were living in cities than in the country. Ever since this moment, country people have always been a minority population, and country music has always been less popular than something. If you knew anything at all about real country life, you might understand the timelessness of the music and its cultural significance.
Your ignorant dismissal of us and our music is extremely disappointing.
May 2, 2019 @ 3:29 pm
Houston wants their grill back
May 3, 2019 @ 10:17 am
Yea you know the other day I thought I saw a racist. Can’t confirm 100% though but probably was a racist nonetheless. They’re everywhere. Sometimes I think my dog has some inner racism.
May 1, 2019 @ 5:48 am
I believe you just want a reason to believe it’s a dis so your inner racist feels better about itself. With most of the younger country artists appropriating hip hop terms and culture to sell music being a thing and you only liking “two current” artist, Who both do not seem to appropriate hip hop, tells me that you have inner bigotry and you don’t like the other boys cuz their style caters closer to hip hop than old country.
Come on, man. That is some shallow shit right there.
April 30, 2019 @ 10:38 am
Hey Tex Hex , wonderfully written and spot on!
April 30, 2019 @ 11:54 am
April 30, 2019 @ 1:23 pm
Totally Agree Tex Hex! I’m so sick and tired of Nashville Execs spinning this crap through Social Media and radio waves, it’s trash from ‘bro-country’, ‘pop-country’ and now ‘R&B-Country’. They (Nashville) is slowly wiping out traditional Country. It’s all about RED DIRT COUNTRY for many of us nowadays!
April 30, 2019 @ 10:46 am
I hear there’s a push to retroactively declare “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” by Boys Don’t Cry” the #1 country song of 1986.
April 30, 2019 @ 6:33 pm
This is a funny post, but you cannot deny the awesomeness of that song in the club scene from The Last Boy Scout.
April 30, 2019 @ 6:51 pm
I’ve always liked the song in a “this one takes me back to the summer I graduated from high school” kind of way.
But the best part is Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead playing a bad guy in the video. He reportedly agreed to do it in exchange for a bottle of vodka.
And yes, the placement in The Last Boy Scout was perfect.
But country? In 1986, no. Today, in the era of Thomas Rhett and Dan + Shay (sittin’ in a tree), why not?
April 30, 2019 @ 10:47 am
We get it, this song sucks. How about a Todd Snider review?
April 30, 2019 @ 2:51 pm
This Lil Nas X discussion has never been one about “this song sucks.” As Tex Hex iterated very articulately above, this is about destroying and lampooning country music as a cultural institution. And while everyone who dislikes country is locked in arms singing this song’s praises to the detriment of country, most country fans are showing pride in how much they don’t care. This is just as alarming as the implications of “Old Town Road” being considered country itself.
I review as many albums as I humanly can. Todd Snider’s is on the radar.
April 30, 2019 @ 9:35 pm
I think the sad reality is that the very fans who should be up in arms are so checked out of the mainstream country genre, that they don’t feel compelled to defend it against Old Town Road.
This is what happens when FGL and Luke Bryan run off all the hardcore Country fans. The Country radio audience is now filled with tweens, teens, and frat boys….none of them likely feeling any pride in the Country genre.
May 1, 2019 @ 6:36 am
Sweet thanks, I’m looking forward to that review.
May 1, 2019 @ 6:45 am
It’s hard for you to be sanctimonious here, when you just wrote an article and defended Springsteen with his new dirty cowboy hat as ‘sounding country’. Springsteen is lampooning country music as well, just on a more subtle level. Same with the hipsters promoted here that wear 50’s suits and short brimmed hats.
May 1, 2019 @ 8:03 am
Jeez dude, get over it. It’s just a song. I had probably a dozen folks reach out and ask me to review it, so I did. And as far as all the “hipsters” making country, at least someone in the younger generation gives a shit enough about making country music to keep it alive.
This is the perfect example of what I’m talking about. The people in the media and a lot of hip-hop fans know “Old Town Road” is shit, but they defend it anyway because they see it as an important moment in the culture war. Meanwhile what do a lot of people in country music do? They use it as a springboard to attack sites like Saving Country Music and the few others willing to speak up against this garbage song.
Bill "100%" Wood
May 1, 2019 @ 4:14 pm
“Springsteen is lampooning country music as well, just on a more subtle level. Same with the hipsters promoted here that wear 50’s suits and short brimmed hats.”
Sounds like a dig at Joshua Hedley, who—if anything—is definitely not lampooning country music.
May 2, 2019 @ 7:23 am
@Mike Honcho. There’s a difference between lampooning a genre, and paying homage or drawing inspiration from it. Springsteen’s had unimpeachable musical bonafides for nearly fifty years. I don’t always love his music, or his politics, and I wouldn’t fully classify his new single as “country” necessarily – but the man’s got integrity and good intentions, and the new single has way more in common, musically, with country than “Old Town Road” by a long shot.
April 30, 2019 @ 11:10 am
The listeners that “Old Town Road” targets aren’t even bright enough to realize they’re being mocked, all the way down to the fake “country-boy” accent.
April 30, 2019 @ 12:16 pm
I read somewhere long ago that psychologically, people often enjoy being mocked by entertainers and entertainment, even if they’re not fully conscious of what’s happening.
They see, and oddly embrace, some element of the offensive stereotyping and mockery. It’s why the Madea movies are so big in the African American community, despite those movies mining the most basic racial stereotypes and making black folks look like buffoons on film.
Same with Larry the Cable Guy, and Wheeler Walker Jr. for that matter. First and last Wheeler show I went to, he was straight up insulting the audience (not just in the songs obviously, but in the banter between songs) – and the audience cheered harder. I mean, I’m not easily offended, and it’s one thing to have thick skin, be a good sport, and laugh at yourself, but it’s another when careers are made by outsiders, from the wholesale mockery of communities and cultures.
April 30, 2019 @ 12:53 pm
That’s very wise. I’m not easily offended either, and even laugh at much of what Larry and Wheeler do, but I definitely see your point.
May 1, 2019 @ 7:09 am
Makes sense. Fans love to be roasted in comedy for instance. Jeff Ross will call audience members up to stage who volunteer to be roasted. And Bill Burr became a comedy legend when he roasted the shit out of an unruly audience in Philadelphia for like 12 minutes straight in what became know as “The Philly Rant.” Interesting perspective Tex Hex.
May 2, 2019 @ 7:43 am
@Rob. Agreed, but it’s important to be mindful when an outsider infiltrates a culture strictly to co-opt or lampoon it for entertainment value or a quick cash grab. There’s a fine line, but there is a line.
I keep thinking about the “race” angle to this whole thing, and I don’t think it holds water. I remember when Eminem (a white guy in a predominantly black genre) first started up in the mid-90’s. He embraced and honored the genre, and excelled at it, right out of the gate. He started out doing underground MC battles and independently distributed mix tapes with other black MCs for years, then caught the eye of Dr. Dre who gave him the “dude’s legit” badge, then he conquered the mainstream. He paid dues, was anointed by the genre’s gatekeepers, then got rewarded. One could make a similar case for Charley Pride, or any other legit black country artist.
By contrast, Lil Nas X was an absolutely unknown and unproven quantity in both hip-hop and country, and stumbled on success through market manipulation, hype, meme status, and most importantly as a paragon/puppet of the “culture wars”. Dude’s a hack. A farce. Plain and simple.
April 30, 2019 @ 11:59 am
I saw Luke Combs bout 6-7 years ago doing mostly Fl/GA line covers. I think FL/GA mock country too. No difference. Everybody singing with a twang is mocking country. Country itself is just a hyped label, something for the media to blow out of proportion. Country is a parody of itself. It be what it be…
April 30, 2019 @ 12:10 pm
opposing a song is some serious snowflake shit
April 30, 2019 @ 2:53 pm
Again, this discussion has never been about “opposing a song.” It’s about opposing a headlong, naked effort by the media and pop music Stands to erode country music as a cultural institution.
May 1, 2019 @ 8:34 am
not what your click-bait headline says..and he does oppose it, so do those vanilla brothers. the song is the #1 song in all America right now, so obviously it has struck a nerve, country music eroded a long time ago and to thrive again it will have to adapt to where the culture is = Old Town Road..look at the footage from Stage Coach, nothing else at the festival had anything near that energy
April 30, 2019 @ 12:40 pm
Always knew Luke was “The Goods” and NOW he’s got the power as well. Scream from the rooftops Luke! Show em how it SHOULD be done. Have some real balls and release Can I Get An Outlaw………it should be an anthem not an underground song.
April 30, 2019 @ 2:56 pm
It takes guts to say what Brothers Osborne and Luke Combs said. Both sit in that weird space in the mainstream where they’re not nearly as bad as most, but still will never be good enough for stodgy traditional country music fans. But you can’t help but appreciate them more not just for being against “Old Town Road,” but for just being honest as opposed to political.
April 30, 2019 @ 1:17 pm
I’m on team Cyrus here. You’re conflating the importance of this pop song sensation and the long-term legacy of country music. Get the hell over it. Is Dale Watson mocking country music when he does his 7 Lonestar Beer jingles throughout his live shows? Lighten the eff up.
April 30, 2019 @ 5:44 pm
“You’re conflating the importance of this pop song sensation and the long-term legacy of country music.”
No, this is what pop media is doing as they fail to hide their raging hard on they have for how Lil Nas X could render the country genre meaningless and the gatekeepers irrelevant. Understand this Lil Nas X issue is part of a much greater context where you have tenured professors writing academic papers, and political operatives giving lectures about the importance of infiltrating country music and either “evolving” it or destroying it to undermine what they believe is a bastion for conservative values. Lil Nas X is simply a pawn in their game. They saw the opportunity to stick a knife in country music, and pounced. Any self-respecting individual deep down in their hearts knows this song is pure shit. They’re just using it because it’s politically expedient. This has nothing to do with music.
May 1, 2019 @ 6:18 am
You nailed it.
Not to mention that they are hypocrites. They are using the concept of “diversity and inclusion” to actually kill diversity. Every cultural heritage should be promoted and should grow which is clearly not the case here.
May 1, 2019 @ 6:40 am
“Every cultural heritage should be promoted…”
That is a gross overstatement.
“Understand this Lil Nas X issue is part of a much greater context where you have tenured professors writing academic papers, and political operatives giving lectures about the importance of infiltrating country music and either “evolving” it or destroying it to undermine what they believe is a bastion for conservative values.”
Yes. The Revolution marches onward. This shouldn’t be a surprise to any person who pays attention. But, just keep apologizing and backpedaling. Make sure to damn your ancestors and let everyone know they were terrible people. Go on meekly as they destroy every vestige of your civilization. Let a few million more third-world peasants in. Get high and play some video games. Stare at your iPhone while you scarf down your Chipotle. It will all be over soon anyway.
“There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom. ”
– Garet Garrett
May 1, 2019 @ 6:50 am
Sorry I am missing your point here.
The point that I am making is the following:
If you truly believe in diversity therefore you should not celebrate a mono genre world but rather a diverse world. The fact that they are trying to destroy country music is a proof that they are in fact against diversity. Where is the diversity if there is no specific culture and no heritage left?!….
May 1, 2019 @ 7:00 am
I don’t believe that every cultural heritage is worthy of promotion.
King Honky Of Crackershire
May 1, 2019 @ 5:48 pm
I believe you may have outdone yourself here. Excellent post, man.
April 30, 2019 @ 2:18 pm
I can almost feel sorry for Lil Nas X. He doesn’t have enough talent to stand out on the rap charts, so he had to deliberately mislabel his dumb meme as country to get attention. However, I am disgusted that this runaway garbage truck has gotten any country radio Airplay at all. I am relieved it is dropping into Oblivion on country radio, and I am thankful for Brothers Osborne and Luke Combs for having the balls to publicly take a stand on this. My biggest fear is that Music Row will try to emulate this and further destroy country music. It is nothing but a 2 minute meme that likely will be forgotten by this time next year, but we all know how one horrible song (Aldean’s Dirt Road Anthem) can have lasting repercussions.
April 30, 2019 @ 2:46 pm
When Trashville decides to pull its collective head out and give traditional country music the respect it deserves, and starts producing better quality music, I’ll start thinking that they actually know what they’re doing. Until then, I’ll just think of them as the pathetic, greedy, ignorant joke that they’ve proven themselves to be so far.
April 30, 2019 @ 4:11 pm
Those days in Nashville by The Establishment are over, my friend. The good stuff is being made independently.
April 30, 2019 @ 4:43 pm
The new album from Rhiannon Giddens drops this Friday. She’ll probably be doing some interviews. I wonder if she’ll get asked about the song.
Cool Lester Smooth
April 30, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Honestly…it IS pretty catchy.
I’ve heard much better hip hop songs, but I’ve heard worse in the current environment. I see why people like it, even as it’s DEFINITELY not country in any way, shape or form.
King Honky Of Crackershire
April 30, 2019 @ 5:17 pm
I’m still amazed that a guy who looks like Luke, has been able to accomplish what he has in this superficial age. There’s something to the phenomenon that I’m not seeing apparently.
Releasing decent music has never been good enough before. Why is it now?
April 30, 2019 @ 5:40 pm
Honky, I sat on the couch watching the ACM’s with a woman who said and I quote “If a woman looked that bad she’d never get that far” and I said but Luke has 30 good/great songs. Then I hushed her up when Ash came on and sang Girl Goin’ Nowhere and she said “what do you think about the way she looks?” You know that “baiting” that women do…lol and I said I personally as an old man don’t care for that new chest tattoo but this song she’s singing has brought me to tears more than once in a live setting. She’s beautiful to me. It’s about THE SONGS I told her!!! Not the looks. That was our last date.
April 30, 2019 @ 6:07 pm
One word: Stapleton
He wasnt the mold of what today’s country singer looked like either and people heard the voice and went with it.
May 1, 2019 @ 7:55 am
Chicks dig that “Just pulled from a sorority shower drain” look.
April 30, 2019 @ 6:21 pm
Hard to explain but Luke is going to be this generation’s Garth Brooks.
The regular man and women love Luke. He is a just a regular dude and grounded.
He can sing. Lord he can sing. Matter of fact he is way better live than in the studio.
He has many great COUNTRY songs in the bank waiting to be released.
Going to be a great ride.
And I am 52 and was on board with Luke after seeing him live once, long before he got a record deal. Met him once and he is a genuine person that happens to be a super entertainer.
Enjoyed Garth’s initial run just like enjoying Luke’s…
April 30, 2019 @ 5:42 pm
I think it’s funny how people are so quick to point out how Old Town Road isn’t country and there’s been such a damn debate about it, but we can’t call out other singles from “country” artists for the same thing. Old Town Road isn’t mocking country anymore than all this metro-bro-country bs, we as country listeners can’t draw the line in the sand now, it’s way too late for that. Meant to be by BeBe Rexha ft FGL, should be brought up in this discussion too. Because if we’re being honest, all the uproar following Old Town Road, should’ve been what was happening with Meant To Be, and we wouldn’t be here now. When you let one thing slip through cracks for too long, you can expect a pattern. Old Town Road is now, what I think is the most highlighted example of this trend, but it’s been happening for YEARS. That abomination of Meant To Be, Old Dominion, Sam Hunt, Jordan Davis, hell all of Luke Bryan’s last album (I’m a Luke fan btw), Kelsea Ballerini and her husband too (who are just pop artists with a little twang), the list keeps going. I don’t have an issue with country rap becoming a thing because funny enough rap and country aren’t all that different when you really analyze what the good stuff is, but the amount of people now “standing up for what’s real country” missed the train a long time ago. You can oppose this song but the damage has long been done and this thing is going to repeat itself sooner than you think.
Also when it comes to the Brothers Osborne “highlighting” Hailey Whitters, speaking about these women of country in a one off response in an interview, isn’t going to fix the problem or even be a drop in the bucket. These dominating male artists need to help their female counterparts, put them in your songs, urge radios and your fans to listen and request them, really hype these ladies up like we so often hype up male artists. Just name dropping them isn’t solving the problem and it’s just going to be more of the same, and more phenomenons like Old Town Road becoming part of discussions. Mark my words, by the end of 2019 going into 2020, there will another song that people will be complaining about and questioning it’s legitimacy in country music.
April 30, 2019 @ 7:01 pm
You knew here? Because “other singles from “country” artists” get called out here all the time.
May 1, 2019 @ 1:26 pm
I apologize for not looking at every article and knowing extensively what’s said. (sarcasm). I visit this site in passing every few months but I remember why I stopped looking at it. God forbid someone isn’t here to know the ins and outs of every article ever written. I stated an opinion I had which is roughly exactly what everyone else has been saying and I get called out for it and made to look like I don’t know what I’m doing or talking about. Like really? I thought this was supposed to be open discussion but because I don’t EVERYTHING that’s ever been said here, that means nothing. Just wow.
May 1, 2019 @ 2:01 pm
But you didn’t present your comment as an opinion, you presented it as a statement of fact. If you’re going to state that other non-country songs aren’t called out, it really is your responsibility to do a little research to make sure your statement is true first.
May 1, 2019 @ 2:31 pm
And by the way, I just asked if you if you had been here before and pointed out that the concerns you raised had been addressed. Not because I think you’re stupid or anything like that, but because I would assume that anyone who spends much time visiting this blog would have known this. Maybe my tone came across as a bit sarcastic, but even re-reading my comment now I don’t see anything critical or offensive about it. Sorry you took it that way.
April 30, 2019 @ 7:13 pm
“I think it’s funny how people are so quick to point out how Old Town Road isn’t country and there’s been such a damn debate about it, but we can’t call out other singles from “country” artists for the same thing.”
” Meant to be by BeBe Rexha ft FGL, should be brought up in this discussion too.”
It was. This is the biggest misconception in this entire Lil Nas X discussion. Saving Country Music alone posted NINE ARTICLES demanding Billboard remove “Meant To Be” from the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. NINE of them. Not to mention the dozen other articles for other songs. Here they are:
April 30, 2019 @ 7:42 pm
I don’t think we’ll see TeenaWeena anymore.
May 1, 2019 @ 1:27 pm
As stated before: I apologize for not looking at every article and knowing extensively what’s said. (sarcasm). I visit this site in passing every few months but I remember why I stopped looking at it. God forbid someone isn’t here to know the ins and outs of every article ever written. I stated an opinion I had which is roughly exactly what everyone else has been saying and I get called out for it and made to look like I don’t know what I’m doing or talking about. Like really? I thought this was supposed to be open discussion but because I don’t EVERYTHING that’s ever been said here, that means nothing. Just wow.
May 1, 2019 @ 1:45 pm
This is an open discussion and I appreciate you bringing your perspective here. However if the accusation is going to be leveled that other songs and artists have not been challenged on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, then it’s going to be disputed because it’s untrue. I can totally understand how on the surface, it can look like Lil Nas X is a victim of hypocrisy, if not downright racism. But before such serious charges are leveled, people need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s the media job to do that. BUt instead they have been feeding misinformation that has led to a lot of the needless conflict surrounding this song. “Old Town Road” has been the #1 song in all of music for the last month now. It’s doing just fine. And as long as it stays off the country charts, it should be of no concern to country fans. But the media continues to spread misinformation because controversy is good for business.
May 1, 2019 @ 4:34 pm
Teena, it’s fine to have an opinion, and it’s fine to not know the details of each article written here. But when you’re statement is factually inaccurate, Trigger pointing that out you’re inaccurate isn’t that crazy. If you show up late for a discussion, miss the opening points, and then call people out for not making those points… you deserve to be corrected. People like the idea of “open discussions” until someone openly disagrees with them.
April 30, 2019 @ 5:45 pm
Old Town Road sucks, but it’s in the same category as “non-country” as that other sh*t radio plays by Dylan Scott, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Russell Dickerson, Jordan Davis etc etc.
April 30, 2019 @ 6:34 pm
I had an Old Town Allagash and an Old Town Appalachian. Now I have an Old Town Discovery.
April 30, 2019 @ 6:42 pm
Yep it is all shit pop music not country anymore…fucking millenials LUKE. COMBS IS DEFINATLY ONE OF THEM
..are you kidding me shut up idiot theres no Waylon no david allen coe your all male taylor swifts
April 30, 2019 @ 8:15 pm
A little catchy my ass. Good on Combs for slightly showing his displeasure. I wish more artist would speak out on this topic.
May 1, 2019 @ 5:54 am
To his credit, at least Luke Combs is clear about why he doesn’t like Old Town Road: it is making fun of country music. But Combs should grow a thicker skin, because this complaint really sounds like sour grapes. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus are gently poking fun at country tropes, pointing out the emptiness of much of country music. Combs doesn’t need to be so triggered. OTR is a funny little novelty song that contains a kernel of truth about the rot at the core of country music. Combs should just laugh along and let it go.
May 1, 2019 @ 4:40 pm
He was asked about it in an interview… He had to say something right? It’s not like he got offended and found a blogger to write an article, he responded to a question with what is probably exactly how he feels. Doesn’t sound triggered to me. Particularly with his recent success, he’s more qualified than most to identify with the problem the “song” poses; i.e, the next generation of Luke Comb’s are missing exposure and opportunities while this song has it’s short run. There’s probably some kid in Nashville that dropped a decent single the same week, some kid who spent his lawn care money on an overpriced producer, milked all his years-in-the-making big wig contacts to give it a little credence, called his friends and family back home to try to get it played on the one station that still takes requests during lunch hour… and then this satire of country music made by an instagram “influencer” grabbed all the headlines.
May 1, 2019 @ 5:46 pm
Yes, it’s not like he felt offended and needed to tee off. He was asked a question and answered it honestly, similar to Brothers Osborne.
May 2, 2019 @ 9:02 am
Couple of points, first of all I don’t see where “Old Town Road” is poking fun at country music. It seems to me that it’s poking fun at those who live the rural lifestyle such as farmers, ranchers, and rodeo competitors and their fans. If this were a “Girl In a Country Song”-type ditty lampooning the stereotypical “jacked-up truck/back 40 bonfire/getting underage girls drunk so you can get in their pants” crowd it might pass as funny. But as an ordinary, average rural Midwesterner just doing what I have to do to get by it feels more personal than that.
And secondly, someone in an earlier comment mentioned Madea. When guys like Tyler Perry and Dave Chappell mock black urban stereotypes it’s funny because they come from the back urban culture. Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy are funny when they mock southern rednecks because they come from the southern redneck culture. We all – at least those of us who aren’t total narcissists – recognize that we have idiosyncrasies that may appear funny to others, and most of us enjoy laughing at them when they are presented back to us by a party who shares them. We like laughing at ourselves when we feel like the one leading the party is laughing with us rather than at us.
But would it be funny for Larry the Cable Guy to do a routine making fun of black urban culture? No, it would be patronizing at best, and outright racist at worst. I don’t see why a black urban guy poking fun at rural culture is really any different, other than the fact that it doesn’t necessarily fall along racial lines.
Now maybe I’ve misread the whole thing. Maybe Lil Nas X feels like a displaced Texas cowboy, and “Old Town Road” is his way of releasing his inner Gene Autry. If so, sorry for misunderstanding, but he would have been better served to lead off with something a bit more sincere than this tripe.
May 1, 2019 @ 12:57 pm
I’m not talking about here, I was talking about just other country realms in general but it’s good to know @$$holes like you, think I’m afraid to respond back online.
May 2, 2019 @ 6:40 am
So what y’all thank ’bout lil Hank and his lil trip down Old Town Road?
May 2, 2019 @ 5:33 pm
I had the displeasure of commenting about this on social media. I had 70-something comments about how I was a racist, or wasn’t cool with the changing of music or the blending of genres, all sorts of bullshit.
May 2, 2019 @ 9:27 pm
There’s a strong racial component to this and its part of a much broader. Leftist media elites want to tear down all white culture. Anything associated with white people is to be dismantled, country music included. They’d like nothing more than to see this music infiltrated by hip hop and destroyed from within.
May 4, 2019 @ 2:52 am
So, lotta comments here including Luke Combs’ pretty much calling Old Town Road trash. Please help me understand how this trash of a song made it to number 19 (and clearly headed to the top spot) of Billboards country charts. Billboard whitesplained away how a song they added to their own charts didn’t meet the standards of the genre. It is crystal clear that this is simply racism in effect in order to protect a music genre that white people deem to be solely their own
May 4, 2019 @ 8:00 am
Popularity and quality are two separate things. If Billboard kicked Lil Nas X off the charts due to race, why haven’t they done the same to both Kane Brown and Jimmy Allen who’ve both recently set Billboard country chart records, and how did Charley Pride amass 29 #1’s. The misconception that Lil Nas X or even African American artists are new to country music are fueling these racism claims. Is there racism in country music? There might be. But if you start by arguing it’s a genre solely of white people who don’t like black people, you’re erasing the achievements and legacy of many black performers in the genre that are indisputable, despite the media ignoring them. And I can’t think of anything more racist than that.
May 26, 2019 @ 4:47 pm
Eh, Rucker, Milton Paton, Trini Triggs.
Go screw yourself racist.
May 4, 2019 @ 8:18 am
…uhhh…Charlie Pride…Cowboy Troy…Lot more talent and innovation…especially Cowboy Troy,,,Add the Georgia “ebonics” of Colt Ford and his crazy mudd-bogging renegades…except none of the above intend to be darlings of ironic racialist (sees world though racial lens) millenials. They are serious. Basic fact about country music. Singing about personal experience. All the above truly do.
May 4, 2019 @ 6:27 pm
ghetto cowboy by bone thugs was wayyy better
May 14, 2019 @ 7:45 am
To be honest, Old Town Road isn’t even a real country song. Luke was right about it being catchy but it’s too much of a rap song for me.
May 26, 2019 @ 4:45 pm
Says the king of Bro Country.
Luke Combs sucks as much as Lil Nas X
May 29, 2019 @ 3:02 pm
Ryan upchurch is the best imo….gets no love from Nashville…check his can I get an outlaw remix with Luke combs…then you be like…damn upchurch is awesome
June 29, 2019 @ 6:59 pm
I never was a huge country music fan but there are some country songs that I absolutely love. And singers that I love. How can you not? For anyone to think that someone “deserves” something like they state in the article (as if this song is taking something away), is ridicoulous. Whatever music people want to listen to they listen to. And it is a popularity contest. What kind of song is it? ” I got my horses in the back” ” the can’t nobody tell me nothing part, in my imagination is like a cowboy from the old west. Songs are subject to each individual person’s interpretation. And mine might not be the songwriters. When Johnny Cash first showed up they were saying he was country with his slicked back hair etc
November 17, 2020 @ 8:26 am
Luke Combs is just as bad. Country music has always poked fun at itself. He probably grew up in the ’90s when it was terrible and thinks that crap was “real country”. He looks like he should be stocking shelves at Walmart and singing Alan Jackson songs at karaoke night. Flat out GARBAGE.