Given my history with pop and pop trends, you’re probably expecting me to crap all over “Old Town Road,” call Lil Nas X a plant to end all plants, and call for “real music” to make its return. A while ago, I was ready to do that. I even had a PA with True ready to go about it. But, then I thought about it. Is this song really hurting anyone?
Sure, it’s kind of cheesy and infectious in that “I would rather hear cats fighting in the middle of the night than hear this song for the trillionth time” sort of way. It’s not what I’d consider a “good” song. For me, it’s in that weird place of “is it parody or is it authentic” where people still love it genuinely and it hasn’t come into that self-hating ironic sort of crap we get when viral songs become legitimate hits. But, “real” music is still getting made and still getting played, even while “Old Town Road” exists.
For real, who am I to crap on a good time? It’s not hurting anyone by existing. If Lil Nas X wants to mumble sing with Billy Ray Cyrus while Rico Nasty and Vince Staples pop up in the video, as long as it’s not hurting anyone, I don’t care. Lil Nas X doesn’t pay my bills and his existence doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the last Nipsey Hussle video or listen to Big K.R.I.T. or play J. Cole or–you get the point.
Do I fear that the guy won’t be able to make a second song that’s as big and then he fades into obscurity after corporate America puts “Old Town Road” in a Target commercial or a Capital One commercial (look, if they can commercialize “Let’s Go Crazy,” Capital One can turn anyone into a commercial)? Yes, I do, but that’s another rant for another time. For now, let’s let the kid enjoy his success and bask in some Black Boy Joy (but be careful before the thinkpieces call the kid a minstrel show or something off-the-walls for clicks).