ENTERTAINMENT

Lil Nas X Drives Taylor Swift Off The Road To No. 1 Again

The pop star's pride single "You Need To Calm Down" debuted at the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lil Nas X isn’t taking any detours off the top of the charts with his seemingly unstoppable smash hit “Old Town Road” remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. 

The 20-year-old rapper has once again been crowned king of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the twelfth consecutive week thanks to his genre-blending single.

The song is now the longest-running single of 2019 after arriving on the chart in April. It’s the 20th track in the Hot 100’s six-decade history to keep the top spot for at least that long. 

This is now the second time the rapper has prevented pop princess Taylor Swift from securing a No. 1 hit.

Both singles from her upcoming seventh album “Lover” ― “ME!” and “You Need To Calm Down” ― have debuted at No. 2, while the rapper reigns supreme, despite the massive buzz and a fair bit of controversy surrounding Swift’s releases.

Elsewhere on the charts, Drake enters the top 10 with Rick Ross-featuring track “Money in the Grave,” while summer staples like Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” and Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran’s collaboration “I Don’t Care” are sitting comfortably. 

Months prior to the release of the remix, Lil Nas X dropped the original version of the single using social video sharing app TikTok. Expertly using internet meme culture to boost its visibility, the rapper bucked the traditional release model preferred by his now-competitors like Swift.

After charting on Hot Country Songs, however, “Old Town Road” was banished for not embracing “enough elements of today’s country music,” sparking a major backlash and an overdue reckoning regarding black artists’ contributions to the country music genre. 

“The song is country trap. It’s not one, it’s not the other. It’s both. It should be on both,” the rapper said in response to the song’s removal. “I believe whenever you’re trying something new, it’s always going to get some kind of bad reception.”

Lil Nas X, who’s since been signed to Columbia Records, is having the last laugh, however, stealing the show at the BET Awards over the weekend with a rollicking performance alongside Cyrus.

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