Jimmie Allen Gives Lil Nas X a Thumbs Up for ‘Old Town Road’
Talking to CBS This Morning, the "Make Me Want To" singer reflected on his own experiences while talking about the “Old Town Road” controversy. For some, it’s just a hip-hop song with a country theme and banjo, while others argue it's consistent with what's on country radio today. Billboard removed "Old Town Road" from the Hot Country Songs chart one week after it appeared, saying it “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music.” The song has since appeared on the Country Airplay chart.
Still, some interpreted the removal as a sign of institutional racism in country music (Lil Nas X is black), but Billboard held firm, saying race was not a factor in the decision. Opinions on the song have been split, with no consensus opinion within the country community. Billy Ray Cyrus was a quick supporter and went as far as to record a remix with the 20-year-old. Brothers Osborne flatly said the song is not country music.
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"Go listen to Kris Kristofferson and then go listen to that song, and if you tell me they have anything to do with each other, then I will quit," John Osborne told Billboard at the ACM Awards. "I'm out. I'm done with the genre. I'm done." He also took offense at someone making an impact in country music with a controversy while many female artists work hard every day and still struggle.
Allen, who scored a No. 1 song with “Best Shot” in 2018, says "Old Town Road" is good and catchy and people are talking about it. He doesn’t seem to be concerned with the label.
“I came into this genre as a new artist from a small town in Delaware, and I'm a black guy,” he tells CBS This Morning. “And I had strikes against me that people thought might stop me, but yet the country community helped welcome me in.”
"So Lil Nas, bro ..." Allen says, giving a thumbs-up.
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