What Makes A Song – Country Music? Is Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ Really A Mockery To The Genre?


This question stems from a few Instagram users disagreeing with an American manufacturer of jeans, Wrangler Jeans, for partnering with Black American rapper Lil Nas X. The users complained that the brand is now ruined because of this partnership. On Monday, the company debuted their Wrangler capsule collection on the social media site and some users were not supportive of it. One particular user said,

“Really? Supporting an artist that so clearly is mocking country music and the lifestyle it represents? Bad move Wrangler.”

So, if Lil Nas X’s song is categorized as Country Rap, a subgenre of Country music that mixes Hip Hop with Country, then how is it a mockery?

Caucasian American singer Kid Rock is a popular Rock artist who has fused Rock, Hip Hop and Country together. Kid Rock has had multiple singles and over 7 albums enter the Billboard charts. According to ASX, a digital marketing platform for purchasing tickets for sports and entertainment events in the US and overseas, Kid Rock has the first country rap song titled ‘Cowboy’ from his 1998 album ‘Devil Without A Cause’. So how is Kid Rock’s musical style not a mockery as well?

In March, the Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ reached number 19 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart before the website disqualified it from the chart on grounds that it did not meet the definition of the genre, country music and this sparked a debate on the definition of the genre. However, to date, ‘Old Town Road’ is number 1 on the Billboard Hip Hop Charts for 7 weeks.

So is the song really a mockery of the genre?