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    Lil Nas X Billboard controversy and racism in the music industry

      Billboard has landed itself in hot water after removing Old Town Road from its country charts, after it was trending at the top spot. I won't put words in their mouth so I'll just quote their reasoning for removing it:

      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.

      Is Billboard in the wrong here? If this isn't a country song, what exactly is it? Is there a racial bias at play? I really doubt Billboard is going to remove Post Malone (a white artist) from the rap charts, who's also known for genre crossover - so why was it done for Lil Nas X? I think the music industry in general can do with more genre crossovers - at some point genres evolve, but it's interesting to see this pushback when it comes to country music especially, because usually the most popular or recognizable country music are crossovers of some kind (e.g. Shania Twain or Nelly/Tim McGraw).

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Viajero de la Galaxia ().

    • The country music industry is absolutely racist. It was practically founded on being racist, and is still likely the most racist area of mainstream music today.

      While chart position is determined by an algorithm that determines rank based on radio play, physical sales, digital sales and streams which songs go on which charts is determined by "chart managers." So it's not like they apply some rigorous series of tests to determine if a song is "country" enough. If they did, most of the pop-based songs that place on the country charts wouldn't make the cut either. Kacey Musgrave's Grammy-winning Golden Hour topped the Country 100, it's way more of a pop album.

      But I'm less interested in the general question of is "Old Town Road" a country song than I am about the general treatment of black artists within the country industry. This twitter thread does a good job explaining how black artists who don't conform strictly to the country music mold are kept on the outside of the genre, and even those who do are in tenuous positions. And it's not like white artists like Kid Rock and Bubba Sparxx who have melded country and hip-hop haven't been embraced by the country community.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Galedeep ().

    • down here in the deep south, country music is commonly seen as "classy" and "good" - people have no problem blasting it out of their vehicles with the windows down.

      hip hop, a primarily black genre, is seen as "trashy" and you will get dirty looks and often times people criticizing you for doing the same thing. I've literally had people come up to me while I'm sitting in my truck, windows down, playing some Kendrick Lamar or BROCKHAMPTON or whatever else and tell me to, "turn off my nigger music." These same people who don't have a problem with country being played like that because it's "classy", i.e., "white".

      this is absolutely about race, imo. these people don't want black sounds or black artists in their music.
    • that's funny cos in australia if you're listening to country you are definitely a troglodyte from the wrong century and almost certainly in the KKK

      to second what galedeep put, the music industry is deeply depply racist and has a history of plaigarism and whitewashing of musical genres/innovations of black people. rock and roll, jazz, hell even elements of hardcore and punk, all have their roots in deeply innovative black artists who had their ideas stolen by white people who had access to the industry. it's really sad, but cannot be forgotten when things like this come up
    • I always thought Country music was trashy honestly but it was never associated with race.

      I used to be a part of the Imgur community but I just saw this very odd crapping on rap music unless it was Eminem and I got really weirded out by it. There is atleast a front page repost (because I only browse the FP) of calling X-Black Artist's music trash and it comes in waves. First it's Nicki Minaj, then Cardi, then Migos, etc.

      I get that you may hate one artist (like I dislike Post Malone a lot) but the constant shitting on their person as opposed to their music seems strange and it is commonly done to black artists. The only time you see a retaliation of that is like with Charlamagne tha God who consistently shits on Post Malone, even in his face on the Breakfast Club.

      Post is also considered both a Rapper and a Country type singer but he has the right skin color as opposed to Lil Nas X. The Country genre is forever strange to me, especially when you look at the stats for who listens to big all time country stars like Garth Brooks who is strange himself.

      Hip Hop and Rap will forever (Well currently) dominate lyricism that allows it to be above "low" art, at least to me. These concerts ain't cheap even compared to fancy Orchestra type events.

      Country Music is kind of different these days. There is definitely a shift in subject and tone. Being a dedicated rap fan, I can fully admit, I f*cking love certain Country subgenres. Bluegrass and Outlaw/Western comes to mind. I've also been recently experimenting with Southern Gothic and Folk music where you don't see a whole lot of midwestern romanticism and nationalism.

      I believe that this "Trash" label on Rap and Hip Hop music comes from the fact that those who write, sing, and produce these songs are Black. No other genre is dominated by black people as much (unless maybe Jazz but I honestly can't name a single mainstream Jazz artist at the moment besides Louis Armstrong). I also agree with Gale and Luc. I've also been criticized like Sol for playing rap music in my car though it wasn't as blatantly racist as his experience. I have heard it be referred to as "Black Music" when being told to turn it down.

      Edit: Small example I just encountered while browsing Imgur.
      The comments acknowledge it too.
      [Error 404 - No Signature Here You Big Dummy]

      The post was edited 6 times, last by Aquamentus ().