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Lil Nas X Is Putting ‘Rolling Stone’ On Blast & TBH, He Has A Point

If you didn’t live under a rock in 2019, you’d probably remember Lil Nas X’s record-breaking streak at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. His country rap anthem “Old Town Road” held the #1 position for 19 weeks, but this feat didn’t come without its fair share of controversy. The song sparked a much-needed discussion about the role of Black voices in country music, which continued upon the release of Beyonce’s 2024 smash hit “Texas Hold Em.”  

“Texas Hold Em” debuted at no. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart on Feb. 20, and it remained in that spot until Shaboozey’s “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” took over on Apr. 30. The Nigerian-American country singer is seeing similar mainstream success after embracing country and trap influences in his work. However, five years prior, “Old Town Road” was removed from the same chart, on the basis that it did “not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current form.” Before Billy Ray Cyrus hopped on a remix of the track, Billboard failed to recognize “Old Town Road” in the genre of country. 

In an interview with BBC published on May 19, Lil Nas X reflected on his experience with the “Old Town Road” controversy. He stated that he’s “happy” for Beyonce and Shaboozey’s current triumphs in country music, but wishes he could’ve had this kind of positive reception back in 2019. On May 20, Rolling Stone covered the interview using a misleading headline: “Lil Nas X Wishes Beyoncé, Shaboozey’s Country Success ‘Would Have Happened’ for Him.” 

Lil Nas X took to X (formerly known as Twitter) on May 21 to express his frustration with how Rolling Stone interpreted his words. “You don’t have [to] take me out of context and paint me as bitter rolling stone. i said im proud and happy for them while i also wish i wasn’t removed from the chart.. especially now that country has more trap/rap influences than ever,” he wrote. 

This isn’t the first time an artist has taken issue with Rolling Stone. On April 8, the outlet published an article that leaked the tracklist of Billie Eilish’s third studio album, Hit Me Hard And Soft, minutes after she announced it. Eilish subsequently called the magazine out on her Instagram Story, first writing “f*ck rolling stone,” then making another post tagging the outlet and adding a clown emoji. Soon thereafter, the tracklist was removed from Rolling Stone’s coverage. 

The media has great power when it comes to delivering news about our fave celebs, but with great power comes great responsibility. Looks like some folks over at Rolling Stone need to get their act together! 

Karly Ramnani is a junior at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, studying music industry, with a strong passion for art and journalism. They discovered this amazing community shortly after starting college, and are super stoked to a national writer for Her Campus this semester. Karly worked with Her Campus in Fall 2022 as well, as the Entertainment & Culture Editorial Intern. Other outlets they've written for include All Country News, The Honey Pop, Medium, Newsbreak, and their own startup music blog Playlists & Polaroids. They currently serve as a campus ambassador for Amazon Prime Student and Tinder. When they're not writing blogposts and music reviews, you can find them composing and performing music, putting their nose in a rom-com book, binge watching "The Summer I Turned Pretty," or crying over Taylor Swift.