Did Billy Ray Cyrus Just Make Country Rap Relevant Again?

Move over Nelly, there's a new country rap star in town.

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If you've been on social media or the internet  today (which I know you have), you've most likely seen a ton of memes surrounding Billy Ray Cyrus and country rapper Lil Nas X. That's because the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer, and father of Miley Cyrus, jumped on the remix of Lil Nas X's song "Old Town Road" — and it immediately went viral. 

The collaboration, which is a surprisingly amazing match-up made in country rap heaven, actually packs more significance than it may seem on the surface. You see, the original version of "Old Town Road" debuted on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, Hot Country Songs chart, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Song chart all at the same time, only to be removed from the Hot Country Songs chart by Billboard for essentially not being country enough. In an article by Rolling Stone, Billboard is quoted as saying, "upon further review, it was determined that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard‘s country charts. When determining genres, a few factors are examined, but first and foremost is musical composition. While ‘Old Town Road’ incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version." 

This naturally caused an influx of reactions, with people pointing to the industry's old-fashioned definitions of genres and questioning whether race played any part in the decision. Though Billboard may have given Lil Nas X the cold shoulder, one artist jumped in the give the Atlanta rapper his support. And who was that artist? None other than Billy Ray Cyrus, of course. 

Well, the pair of "outlaws" teamed up and have blessed us with the epic remix that features Cyrus singing lines like, "Spent a lot of money on my brand new guitar / Baby's got a habit, diamond rings and Fendi sports bras." Like we said — it's epic. 

Arguably even more amusing than the song itself are all the memes it has produced. Check out some of our favorites below:

I think it's safe to say Billy Ray Cyrus is responsible for putting country rap back on the map — for now at least. In the meantime, we'll be taking bets on the next country rap collab (fingers crossed for Drake and Dolly Parton).

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Associate Editor at Livingly. You can reach me by email at sydney.fogel@livingly.com and on Instagram @sydneyfvz
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