Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is an unavoidable song right now. You may not know it by its official name, but it’s hard to open a social-networking website without seeing a meme or video using the song’s line “I got the horses in the back.” It was controversially removed from the Billboard country charts for not being country enough, but its remix has now made its way to being the number one song in the world, including the country charts, with a little help from country music star and celebrity-dad Billy Ray Cyrus.
The Daily Tar Heel asked some students around campus to weigh in their opinions and thoughts on the song and its meteoric rise in popularity:
Adam Yoo, a sophomore studying English
“I think it was originally supposed to be a meme song, but then they brought him out for that Genius Behind the Lyrics, so he had to come up with something. I think it was obviously supposed to be a meme song, but the problem is, it kinda bops. That’s why everyone’s listening to it. Getting if off the country Billboard charts made it even more popular because people thought there was a weird, racist edge to that. So, it started out as a meme song and people genuinely like it now. I think it’s kinda funny.”
Evan Mellon, an undecided first-year (right), Ben Lytle, an undecided sophomore (left)
“Well, I feel like recently it’s come under a lot of scrutiny, but I think it’s a pretty historically significant song, I’d say… That didn’t really make sense.”
“It went viral really quickly, but I think it’s just a fad.”
Emily Rodgers, a sophomore studying exercise and sport science
“Low-key, I don’t think it’s that bad. Honestly, I’ve heard worse rap songs. I’m one of the very few people that actually somewhat like country music, so I can tolerate it slightly.”
Ayush Jha, a junior studying economics and computer science
“It’s a really interesting song, I guess. It’s pretty different from what we hear nowadays. It has a nice, modern twist to it, which I guess has made it so popular on so many different platforms like Instagram and Facebook.”
Claudia Opper, a sophomore studying film studies
“I actually really like it. I wasn’t expecting to, but it’s really catchy, and I like the remix too.”
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.