Lil Nas X's rise to fame has had a lot of highs and lows in such a short period of time. Now, after linking up with Billy Ray Cyrus and challenging Billboard's rules, Will Smith wants to join in on all the yee-haw fun.
After his song "Old Town Road" went viral thanks to social media apps like TikTok and Twitter, Lil Nas began charting high on Billboard's Hot 100, Hot Country Songs, and Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs charts. Just as the song was expected to atop the Hot Country Songs chart, Billboard removed the song stating that it "does not embrace enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version."
Following the removal, Lil Nas linked up with country music veteran (and former country music bad boy) Billy Ray Cyrus for the remix. "It was so obvious to me after hearing the song just one time," Cyrus wrote on Twitter following the release of the remix. "I was thinking, what's not country about it? What's the rudimentary element of a country and western song? Then I thought, it's honest, humble, and has an infectious hook, and a banjo. What the hell more do ya need?"
A few days passed and I went to the studio to do vocals.When I finished the pass, I whistled at the end of the song. Thats when the engineer stood up and said, “that shit is fire” We’re keeping that! Glad you gusys are diggin’ the tune, love seeing all your meme’s.... #OTR— Billy Ray Cyrus (@billyraycyrus) April 5, 2019
The two received tremendous support following the release of the remix. However, the duo received major love from a rap veteran that even surprised Nas.
Wild, Wild West star Will Smith took to social media to not only cosign the track but to ask for a cameo in the video. The 50-year-old rapper/actor shared a scene from the video of his 1999 hit song "Wild Wild West" with the "Old Town Road" remix dubbed over it.
"Y'all call me when you're ready to shoot the video," Smith captioned the post. Lil Nas replied, "NO FUCKING WAY."
If it was Lil Nas and Cyrus' goal to persuade Billboard to change their mind, it might have worked. In a new statement to Rolling Stone, Billboard declared that they are still considering how to classify the song, and may reconsider placing it back on the Hot Country Songs chart.
"Determining which chart a song lives on is an ongoing process that depends on a number of factors, most notably the song's musical composition, but also how the song is marketed and promoted, the musical history of the artist, airplay the song receives and how the song is platformed on streaming services," Billboard said in a statement. "Billboard welcomes the excitement created by genre-blending tracks such as Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" and will continue to monitor how it is marketed and how fans respond. Our initial decision to remove "Old Town Road" from the Hot Country Songs chart could be revisited as these factors evolve."
The song currently sits at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is expected to hit Top 10 following the release of the remix.