For years country music was pigeonholed into cowboy boots, napoleon ice-cream looking tans, and Cerrie Underwood. Rap music was placed in a pigeonhole far, far away from any whiff of country music related guitar riffs; yet now thanks to Lil Nas X and Blanco Brown, we’re getting a whole new genre of music.
Lil Nas X’s hit track ‘Old Town Road’ featuring Billy Ray Cyrus gained massive traction since its release earlier this year, the former TikTok star then released three new remixes for the track and teased the possibility of many more remakes.
The single’s unstoppable status has now been cemented in music history, as Lil Nas X just dethroned the likes of Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber with the longest-running no.1 single in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with 17 consecutive weeks on top.
— nope (@LilNasX) July 29, 2019
Yet, it wasn’t almost smooth sailing as the hit song initially caused controversy in March when Billboard removed it from its country charts, suggesting it wasn’t ‘country enough’.
Lil Nas X also confirmed his sexuality on Twitter following constant probing from his fans and the media alike. You heard it folks, a black gay man is sitting at the top of the charts with a country-trap song and we’re thrilled about it!
some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure. ??✨ pic.twitter.com/O9krBLllqQ
— nope (@LilNasX) June 30, 2019
Another trailblazer making waves in the music sphere is artist Blanco Brown, who like Lil Nas X, brings a new edge to the country fused music he creates.
Brown’s breakout hit ‘The Git Up’ hit No.1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart, as well as featuring on top of their Hot Country Songs chart.
It’s hard to resist the charm of both these tracks, although the charts clearly show that resisting them is not something listeners are doing. The fusion of rap and country has breathed new life into both the genres, offering us all a new category of music that’s just too good to discard.
Like any revolutionary moves made towards certain industries or communities, many have criticised Lil Nas X and Blanco Brown for deviating and ruining the traditional country sound. Seems interesting considering the melting of two genres of music is not new to us, nor are black artists in the country music game.
The critics don’t seem to be phasing the success of the two hit singles. Now if you’ll excuse me; I’ve got the horses in the back doing the two step cowboy boogie.
Take a look at Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ epic performance at The BET Awards below!
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