Lil Nas X says Billboard has a problem with country trap, not his race

The Atlanta-based artist’s “Old Town Road” was recently removed from a country music chart.

April 01, 2019

Lil Nas X has responded in diplomatic fashion to the news that his "Old Town Road" has been removed from Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. The removal has created a backlash, with critics suggesting the artist's race could be a motivating factor behind the decision. 19-year-old Atlanta artist Lil Nas X initially said on social media that he was "extremely disappointed," and returned to the subject in a Time interview published over the weekend.

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Speaking about the controversy, Lil Nas X said his song is "country trap. It’s not one, it’s not the other," and that it should be reflected in charts dedicated to both genres.

It is his work in a relatively new genre that Lil Nas X suggests is the reason for Billboard's decision. “I believe whenever you’re trying something new, it’s always going to get some kind of bad reception," he said. "For example, when rap started, or when rock and roll began. But with country trap, I in no way want to take credit for that. I believe Young Thug would be one of the biggest pioneers in that.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Lil Nas X credited the success of "Old Town Road" almost entirely to video sharing app TikTok. He disputed, however, the idea that TikTok's owners should pay artists more when their songs go viral on the app. "I should maybe be paying TikTok,"he said. "They really boosted the song. It was getting to the point that it was almost stagnant. When TikTok hit it, almost every day since that, the streams have been up. I credit them a lot.”

Lil Nas X says Billboard has a problem with country trap, not his race