PSY's release of “Gangnam Style” in 2012 caused division among music listeners, and up until recently was unmatched in this field. However, the song “Old Town Road” has matched, if not exceeded, the amount of division between listeners.
Lil Nas X, a rapper and singer from Atlanta, originally released the song on Dec. 3, 2018. The song debuted on the Billboard country charts, but was subsequently pulled because many people disagreed with the song being considered a part of the country genre. If it was not disqualified from the country charts, it would have easily risen to No. 1. However, the song is the most streamed single in its debut week ever. It easily surpassed Drake's "In My Feelings" by 27,000 streams.
The removal from the Billboard country charts caused Lil Nas X to release a remixed version of the song on April 5 featuring country legend Billy Ray Cyrus on the track to give it more of a country feel. The remixed version of the song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of April 16, had held the coveted spot for two weeks.
The song may not have a typical country flow and beat to it, nor the greatest lyrics ever written, but it is without a doubt a fun song to listen to.
“I like the song because it combines two of my favorite musical genres in hip hop and country,” said senior Nick Albano. “Both of those elements give it a unique vibe.”
The question about this song should not be if it is country or rap or a subgenre, it should be, is this a quality song? I would argue that it is.
It is a short song, so it is easy to learn the words and the beat is sure to get people up and dancing whether they are wearing snapbacks and sneakers or cowboy hats and boots. “Old Town Road” is an enjoyable song to listen to.
If the beat drop after Lil Nas X sings his first lyrics, “I got the horses in the back,” does not make you at least move your head to the flow, you may not be alive.
“'Old Town Road' is one of those songs that you just can’t get out of your head,” said senior
Miles Sustad. “The bridge between country music and hip-hop is mind blowing. Simply put, ‘Old Town Road’ goes hard.”
There is no questioning the song's popularity even though it has its detractors. There will soon be a second remix of the song released featuring rapper Young Thug.
Listeners should not attempt to decipher what music genre the song belongs to and just enjoy an upbeat, entertaining song with its own unique flavor.
Andrew Quinn is a staff writer. Follow him on Twitter: @andrewquinny.