Sometimes you take your horse to the old town road, sometimes you ride till you can’t no more, and sometimes Billboard kicks you off the country chart. “Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X is on the cover of June’s Teen Vogue, and the 20-year-old musician talked about the controversy that ensued when Billboard removed his song from the genre-specific chart because it did not have “enough elements of today’s country music in its current version.” (No matter, it’s still spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the overall chart.) “I had this idea in mind at first, but then as I went on to think about it, I was like, Maybe because [the] country [music industry] is guarded. You can have your country song with trap elements, but if it’s by known country artists, then it’s allowed. A black guy who raps comes along, and he’s on top of the country chart, it’s like, ‘What the fuck?’” Lil Nas X told Teen Vogue.
Now, he feels that the initial Billboard controversy helped build buzz, but “Old Town Road” remained the star: “It definitely played a part, but it didn’t overpower to the point where the Billboard situation was bigger than the song,” he told the magazine. “By me being involved in something like that, it doesn’t make me feel bad. It makes me feel even more accomplished in a way.”