Lil Nas X’s viral hit “Old Town Road” has generated a lot of discussion about genre classications since Billboard removed it from the Hot Country chart. The song’s creator opened about the situation in a new interview with Time, identifying his single as “country trap” and crediting Young Thug as a pioneer of the subgenre.
The 19-year-old artist brought up Thugger’s name after being asked if Billboard’s decision had racial undertones.
“I believe whenever you’re trying something new, it’s always going to get some kind of bad reception,” Lil Nas X said. “For example, when rap started, or when rock and roll began. But with country trap, I in no way want to take credit for that. I believe Young Thug would be one of the biggest pioneers in that.”
Young Thug’s country-inspired music can be heard on his 2017 album Beautiful Thugger Girls. The LP’s opener “Family Don’t Matter” was often referred to as a country song on social media.
Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” remains on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. In a statement, Billboard explained why it chose to remove the single from the country classification.
“Upon further review, it was determined that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard’s country charts,” Billboard said. “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.”
But Lil Nas X disagrees.
“The song is country trap,” he told Time. “It’s not one, it’s not the other. It’s both. It should be on both.”