Billboard has come under fire for removing “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X from the Hot Country Songs Chart. “Old Town Road,” which also appears on the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, was released in December 2018 and grew in popularity thanks to memes and the music app TikTok. The viral hit debuted on the Hot Country Songs chart at no. 19
According to Rolling Stone, Billboard informed Lil Nas X’s label Columbia Records, “his inclusion on the ranking was a mistake.” Several social media users are calling the removal “racial discrimination”.
While Billboard hasn’t publicly announced the song’s removal, in a statement to Rolling Stone, they said,
“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.”