Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” is at the center of a controversy.
The Atlanta rapper’s rising viral hit was removed by Billboard from its Hot Country Songs Chart, the chart company confirmed in a statement on Wednesday (March 27).
“Upon further review, it was determined that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard‘s country charts. When determining genres, a few factors are examined, but first and foremost is musical composition. While ‘Old Town Road’ incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version,” the company said.
After receiving some backlash for the decision on social media, Billboard also clarified the decision further in a statement to Genius: “Billboard’s decision to take the song off of the country chart had absolutely nothing to do with the race of the artist.”
“just because old town road has funny lines doesn’t mean it’s parody. it has a theme. anybody with ears can tell i put some kind of effort into that song,” Lil Nas X wrote on Twitter.
Prior to “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X released his video for “Carry On” in September of 2018.
just because old town road has funny lines doesn’t mean it’s parody. it has a theme. anybody with ears can tell i put some kind of effort into that song.
— nope (@LilNasX) March 27, 2019