I wrote about the dustup over the song “Old Town Road” as debate about the song’s “country-worthiness” took place on social media. I remain perplexed about why country music gatekeepers would deem the song not country when it is, in fact, as country as anything I hear on radio stations or anything I see on the TV channel that airs country videos. In fact, Lil Nas X the rapper has produced a song that’s more country than most of what I hear these days.
It appears Keith Urban agrees with my assessment.
Urban covered “Old Town Road” on Twitter, underpinning it with some feisty banjo. What Urban can do to strings defies words.
Lil Nas X is definitely on a roll right now—the dustup gave him the sort of advertising money can’t buy. If you are looking for entertainment on your screen, go no further than Lil Nas X’s Twitter line. It is hilarious. If rowdy language bothers you, don’t go there though. The rapper’s handle on Twitter is “nope”. He also has a photo of himself on horseback—that pic says it all. There’s a funny exchange regarding the 2020 election. A media type asked Lil Nas X who he’ll support in 2020. The rapper gave a response:
“yes, I did make Old Town Road.”
Smart. I keep telling musicians most fans don’t want to hear about your politics. If anything, music is an escape from politics. Anyway, what we should all be talking is philosophy instead of permitting politicos to use us as their pawns.
Everybody’s talking about “Old Town Road”. One late night talk show host even did a skit featuring a fake Bernie Sanders rapping the song, although the lyrics were changed to fit politics. Whoever tried the parody on the lyrics came up short, though.
Although rap these days is perceived largely by the public as a part of African-American culture, poetry and percussion have been with us for a very long time regardless of our complexion or ethnicity. There’s an interesting writeup at Regia about music in antiquity, and then there’s Beowulf. Maybe people should study their heritage a bit closer.
Lil Nas X seems to be having a great time with his top hit “Old Town Road”, and my hat’s off to him. Anyone who can go from Who Is He? to having Keith Urban cover his song is one smart talent. According to Billboard, the song is in its third week in the top 100 on charts.
Finally, happy birthday to the bard, William Shakespeare. His birthday is celebrated on April 23, and he died on the same date 52 years later.
Watch Keith Urban have some fun with “Old Town Road” on Twitter. Urban is currently promoting his album GraffitiU.
(Kay B. Day/April 23, 2019)