- Country stars Brothers Osborne have some thoughts about Lil Nas X and his hit “Old Town Road.”
- In case you missed it, the song was controversially removed Billboard’s Hot Country chart in March because it did “not embrace enough elements” of the genre.
- Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus released a remix of the song that quickly entered Billboard’s Hot 100.
- But on the red carpet for the Academy of Country Music Awards, T.J. and John Osborne said they are sceptical of the songs lyrical and country integrity.
- They also said “Old Town Road” doesn’t deserve viral fame. “There are tons of girls just waiting for the moment, waiting in line,” John said. “Writing great songs, showing up every day in the writing room.”
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The country duo Brothers Osborne has some thoughts about Lil Nas X and his country song “Old Town Road.”
In case you live a blissful, offline existence or, perhaps, have yet to delve into TikTok where the song soundtracks memes, “Old Town Road” is a beloved, viral sensation. The sub-two-minute track, which blends trap and country, was controversially removed Billboard’s Hot Country chart in March because it did “not embrace enough elements” of the genre.
The conversation surrounding Billboard’s decision has focused on what country music is currently and how it might evolve in the future. Critics have also questioned whether Lil Nas X’s race was a factor in Billboard’s decision.
And the discourse isn’t just online. On the red carpet for the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, Billboard asked T.J. and John Osborne of the duo Brothers Osborne what they thought of Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road.”
— billboard (@billboard) April 8, 2019
When asked, T.J. said “Old Town Road” is “certainly not” a country song.
After that, T.J. walked back his initial claim.
“I don’t know what country is. It’s not for me to say,” T.J. said. “The only thing to me, is I just think for music to make someone feel good is the whole point of it I think.”
Both men said they felt Lil Nas X didn’t deserve his fame and felt the controversy around the song was unwarranted.
“I don’t like that there’s this controversy around it,” T.J. said. “John and I – we’ve had success on radio, but we still struggle on the radio all the time. So to complain about that to me is just, like, come on, dude. Get in line.”
John Osborne said that Lil Nas X had not paid his dues in the world of country.
“Let’s turn the focus away from that,” he said. “Don’t create controversy and expect that to give you a hall pass.”
John also seemed to imply that the success of “Old Town Road” hinders “tons of girls” who have been trying to break through in Nashville for over a decade.
“There are tons of girls just waiting for the moment, waiting in line, writing great songs, showing up every day in the writing room. Sometimes doing two or three or four writes a day,” John said. “They have been in Nashville for over 10 years.”
He continued, questioning the authenticity and integrity of Lil Nas X’s songwriting: “And then this dude decides to put out a song with kinda quasi-country lyrics?”
Brothers Osborne, who are known for their rock-influenced music, have previously expressed that change is needed within the genre.
“All genres of music get to be repetitious after a while,” John said in a November 2018 interview with Rolling Stone. “And sometimes a bomb needs to be detonated.”
On Monday, the men defended their statements on Twitter. “People baited us all night on the carpet with this BS question and we got tired of it,” the tweet said. “Here’s honesty whether you like it or not.”
People baited us all night on the carpet with this BS question and we got tired of it. Here’s honesty whether you like it or not. https://t.co/ah7bXoQiSg
— Brothers Osborne (@brothersosborne) April 8, 2019
But not everyone in the world of country feels this way. On April 3, Billy Ray Cyrus posted on Twitter in support of Lil Nas X.
“Been watching everything going on with OTR. When I got thrown off the charts, Waylon Jennings said to me ‘Take this as a compliment’ means you’re doing something great! Only Outlaws are outlawed,” he wrote. “Welcome to the club!”
On Friday, the two released a remix of the song together.
Yee – and I cannot stress this enough – haw.
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