Luke Combs Feels Lil Nas X Is Making Fun of Country With ‘Old Town Road’
Luke Combs is weighing in on the controversy surrounding Lil Nas X' viral hit song "Old Town Road," saying he feels the rapper is making fun of country music a little bit in the catchy track.
The track features an undeniable hook, but it's been the subject of intense debate in country music circles due to its obvious hip-hop underpinnings, although the lyrics and accompanying video draw on Old West imagery.
“Yeah, it's pretty catchy," Combs tells the L.A. Times. "But I feel there’s a little bit of sarcasm there I don’t necessarily appreciate. I feel like I'm being poked fun at a bit. Country music is near and dear to my heart, and one of the things that’s most important to me is that the music should be taken seriously."
The Atlanta-based rapper shot to prominence in late March with "Old Town Road," which juxtaposes a hip-hop beat with banjo and traditional country lyricism. The video prominently features Old West imagery, and it went viral online after it became popular via the TikTok app in March. "Old Town Road" debuted at No. 19 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart on March 16.
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Billboard subsequently removed "Old Town Road" from consideration for that chart, deciding that the song didn't contain enough country elements and informing Lil Nas X's label that including it was a mistake. That decision touched off substantial debate as to whether race might have played a role in Billboard's decision, as well as what makes any song "country" in an ever-changing genre.
Billy Ray Cyrus teamed with Lil Nas X for a remix of "Old Town Road" that they released on April 5, and the song registered at No. 53 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart for the week of April 13.
Cyrus and Lil Nas X teamed with DJ and producer Diplo to perform "Old Town Road" at the 2019 Stagecoach festival on April 29, and Diplo subsequently released a remix of the song.