Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus’ ‘Old Town Road’ Video Includes Chris Rock Cameo + More [WATCH]
The "Old Town Road" music video begins on -- where else? -- Old Town Road, in 1889, and with a self-referential bit of dialogue. As Lil Nas X and Cyrus' characters reach a stopping point in their journey, the rapper tells the country star, "I don't know, man. The last time I was here, they weren't too welcoming to outsiders."
"You're with me this time," Cyrus replies. "Everything's gonna be alright."
In late March, "Old Town Road" was removed from consideration for Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, causing an online uproar over whether or not the song is "country," and if race played a factor in Billboard's decision. Based on country radio airplay, the song did later appear on the Country Airplay chart, although it's since fallen off. However, currently, the song sits at No. 1 on the all-genre Hot 100 for a sixth consecutive week.
In the music video itself, however, Cyrus' words prove to be hollow: A father and daughter with a shotgun sneak in and chase Lil Nax X into hiding -- in a hole that transports him to Old Town Road in 2019. Dressed in his Old West gear, he rides his horse down the city street, drawing confused looks as he passes.
Lil Nax X and his horse get into a street race with -- and beat -- a souped-up car before Cyrus shows up in the present day. Together, they turn a bingo night (led by rapper and producer Rico Nasty) into a line-dancing-filled party; producer and DJ Diplo, who recently remixed "Old Town Road," plays the washboard.
Also making appearances in the "Old Town Road" music video are fellow artists Vince Staples, HaHa Davis, YoungKio and Jozzy. In a reference to the TikTok app meme that made the song famous, Lil Nas X drinks a bottle of "yee-yee juice" as he mugs for the camera in a photo booth.
When Lil Nas X dropped "Old Town Road," he categorized it as a country song, and it debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart dated March 16. When the media organization removed the song from country chart consideration, it explained that "Old Town Road" simply shouldn't have been on a country chart to begin with, saying that it lacked the sonic elements of a country song.
However, as more and more country artists have begun to experiment with genre crossover and stylistic experimentation, it has become more difficult to define what, exactly, the sonic elements of a country song are. Many on social media have suggested that Billboard's exclusion of "Old Town Road" has more to do with the race of the artist than it has to do with the sound of the song, which Billboard denies in a statement.
Here Are All of the Cameos + Pop Culture References in the "Old Town Road" Music Video