In The Rotation: "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X

Welcome to The Sports Fan Journal’s latest series, In The Rotation. Music fans are always trying to find the latest tunes to spin and our editor Mya Melody, a.k.a. the playlist virtuoso, is here to help. Whether you need a weekend turn up anthem or a smooth jam for a kickback, this series will highlight the week’s hottest song to add in your collection. Vibe out and enjoy! #MelodyPutYouOn

A major discussion was brought to the media and social timelines this week about artists who crossover and appeal to different genres, and the debate is thanks to the viral "Old Town Road" single from newcomer Lil Nas X.

Although Lil Nas X released "Old Town Road" a couple months ago, the single rose in popularity with help from radio airplay and dance videos on social media apps like TikTok. "Old Town Road" debuted at No. 19 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs Chart in mid-March, however Billboard removed the song from the chart this week with claims it doesn't "embrace enough elements of today’s country music." 

The music video has Red Dead Redemption elements and the song's lyrical content such as "I'm gonna take my horse to the old town road/I'm gonna ride until I can't no more" are fused with a country style. However, the song also contains some 808 drums and rapping that fans can easily stylize as "country trap." Fans and veteran rappers criticized Billboard about the removal with claims of discrimination, especially since the country charts tend to also include pop artists.

Whether listeners feel the song is more rap than country is debatable. However, the news of Billboard removing "Old Town Road" could be prosperous for Lil Nas X in the end, it certainly should get a lot of spins at clubs and rodeos this weekend.

Spin the new single from Lil Nas X and check out this week's pertinent reading material:

Is the Death Row music from 'Above the Rim' the last great hip-hop soundtrack? - The Undefeated

The supernatural powers of "Swag Surfin'" - The Fader

Here's the Problem with Making "Bangers" - DJBooth

J. Cole Plans to Build Dreamville Into Music's Next Dynasty - XXL

How Run-DMC's Iconic Debut Album Ushered in a New Era in Hip-Hop - Okayplayer

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