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What is "Old Town Road" and how did it first catch on?
But it shows no signs of fading. What if the song never fades away? And yet it goes deeper than that. Every weird strain of American culture is in this song somewhere, as Lil Nas X rides his tractor all over our cliches of sexual and cultural identity.
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Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," a country-inflected rap song celebrating the act of taking your horses down to the "old town road" of the title, is currently the number one song in America. It's been that way all summer. From a charting perspective, the song had a relatively humble beginning. On April 8, Billboard announced that the track had moved from No. Powered by a potent combination of social media excitement, genre-labeling chart controversy, and a remix featuring an assist from the king of the "Achy Breaky Heart" himself, "Old Town Road" made the precarious leap from viral internet oddity to genuine pop-culture phenomenon. The song's path to ubiquity was not totally without precedent. Like Bauuer's "Harlem Shake," the first track to really benefit from the addition of streaming data to the Billboard chart formula, "Old Town Road" initially caught fire because of a popular video dance trend. It's impossible to know what the future holds for year-old Montero Lamar Hill, who goes by the stage name Lil Nas X, but he's already signed to Columbia Records, met one of his heroes , released an EP, and made some really great tweets. As the lyrics go, he'll probably ride this until he can't no more. How exactly did "Old Town Road" get so big so fast?
After gaining popularity, the single was re-released by Columbia Records in March The song has been widely labeled as " country rap ", a genre that had not often reached the mainstream prior to its release. Dutch record producer YoungKio produced the instrumental and made it available for purchase online in The sample was placed behind trap -style Roland TR drums and bass. At the time, he had been living with his sister after dropping out of college; his real world struggles served as an influence on some of the lyrics. The song initially gained popularity on social video sharing app TikTok and eventually entered the Billboard charts in March The song reached number 19 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart before the magazine disqualified it from being included on the chart on grounds that it did not fit the genre, sparking a debate on the definition of country music. Though it was not re-entered onto the overall country charts, both the original version of the song and the remix featuring Cyrus eventually peaked at number one on the flagship Billboard chart, the Hot , for a record-breaking nineteen consecutive weeks. Internationally, one or more versions of "Old Town Road" have topped the national singles charts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom; and charted within the top 10 in various other markets.