Billboard is now the target of intense criticism for removing Lil Nas X’s song “Old Town Road” from the Hot Country Songs Chart. The track “Old Town Road,” was released in December 2018 and grew in popularity because of social media memes and the music app TikTok. Since the songs official release, it also charted on the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. As the song grew in popularity, it debuted on the Hot Country Songs chart at no. 19
— nope (@LilNasX) March 26, 2019
According to Rolling Stone, Billboard told Lil Nas’s label Columbia Records, “his inclusion on the ranking was a mistake.” Because of Billboard’s stance, social media has been in an uproar. Many are calling the removal of “Old Town Road,” an obvious case of racial discrimination.
Addressing the situation, Billboard replied in a statement to Rolling Stone:
“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 a 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.”
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