“Old Town Road” gained momentum on TikTok under the promoted hashtags, #cowboygang and #yeeyeejuice, the latter of which saw users drink from cups labeled “yee yee juice,” transforming them into flannel-wearing, straw-nibbling cowboys.
Lil Nas X climbed up the Country Music charts, only for Billboard to remove the song, citing a lack of “elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version." After enlisting the help of country music maverick Billy Ray Cyrus (who similarly stretched the limits of country music with “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1992), “Old Town Road” found itself at the center of conversations about country music’s problem with race, Billboard’s outdated regulations, and the limits of genre itself.
The Atlanta rapper, born Montero Lamar Hill, celebrated his 20th birthday on the same day that the country-trap hit entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No.1. While “Old Town Road” has surpassed the niche fame of TikTok virality, Hill is now attempting to follow up the record-breaking, genre-bending track that dominated headlines for weeks. He recently teasing a new rock-tinged collaboration with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, and tweeted, “Y’all think they gone let me on the rock charts?”