April 30

Lil Nas X – Country Music Billboard controversy and the racial divide






19 year old rising rap star Lil Nas X has found himself in the center of a most recent controversy in Country Music, a genre that provides little space for female artists and black artists.

Most recently, the country rap song, “Old Town Road” was pulled off of the Country Music billboard list claiming:

” …it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”

There is so much cross over in the music industry, and in fact many white male country artists incorporate rap and hip-hop into their music.  Several articles and interviews are looking at this story to bring attention to the double standard when a black rapper crossed over to country.

Rolling Stone MAgazine comments on the larger issue of race and music genres:

Expelling Lil Nas X’s single from Hot Country Songs points to a complicated racial dynamic. The music industry still relies heavily on old-fashioned definitions of genre, which have always mapped on race — Billboard’s R&B chart, for example, was originally titled “race music,” while the Latin songs chart lumps together a myriad of genres and languages under one ethnic umbrella.

Below are resources from NPR and the NY Times.