Author Topic: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????  (Read 427 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2019, 07:33:47 PM »
I don't know if I would characterize that is cultural insensitivity. I think it's more of an arrogant asshole move to claim that the boundaries of music are defined by what you like. If you want to tell me what I'm allowed to eat, who I can sleep with, or what I am allowed to call clothing you can extend the breadth of acting like an arrogant asshole into entirely different domains.

Or perhaps you were just trying to say you don't like, understand, or enjoy that kind of music?

ETA: Like what you like and express how you feel about it as you wish. Allow others the same respect.

I have never advocated banning the stuff or prohibiting anyone from making or listening to it. I merely state that in my opinion it is not music.

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2019, 08:21:58 PM »
I don't know if I would characterize that is cultural insensitivity. I think it's more of an arrogant asshole move to claim that the boundaries of music are defined by what you like. If you want to tell me what I'm allowed to eat, who I can sleep with, or what I am allowed to call clothing you can extend the breadth of acting like an arrogant asshole into entirely different domains.

Or perhaps you were just trying to say you don't like, understand, or enjoy that kind of music?

ETA: Like what you like and express how you feel about it as you wish. Allow others the same respect.

I have never advocated banning the stuff or prohibiting anyone from making or listening to it. I merely state that in my opinion it is not music.

Whether or not it is music is not a matter of opinion. It is music. The only thing about it that is subject to opinion is whether you enjoy listening to it.
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Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2019, 09:30:51 PM »
I don't know if I would characterize that is cultural insensitivity. I think it's more of an arrogant asshole move to claim that the boundaries of music are defined by what you like. If you want to tell me what I'm allowed to eat, who I can sleep with, or what I am allowed to call clothing you can extend the breadth of acting like an arrogant asshole into entirely different domains.

Or perhaps you were just trying to say you don't like, understand, or enjoy that kind of music?

ETA: Like what you like and express how you feel about it as you wish. Allow others the same respect.

I have never advocated banning the stuff or prohibiting anyone from making or listening to it. I merely state that in my opinion it is not music.

Whether or not it is music is not a matter of opinion. It is music. The only thing about it that is subject to opinion is whether you enjoy listening to it.

Thank you brilligtove and arth for expressing this so well. Hip-hop music has had a profound impact on my life, and a couple of hip-hop songs have moved to tears for their artistic beauty. I've never had an emotional connection with other musical genres in that way. There are genres of music that I really dislike hearing-- for example, heavy metal-- but I acknowledge that it likely has its own artistic merits, and that my inability to appreciate them reflects my own ignorance and lack of exposure to the genre.

Offline Belgarath

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2019, 09:14:06 AM »
In my opinion, the earth is flat.....

Sorry, had to go there.

Anyway, I also don't enjoy hip-hop music, however there are very occasionally hip-hop songs that someone gets me to listen to and I find it enjoyable, but the vast majority of it, I just don't enjoy.  I'd never claim it wasn't music, however. 

What I find amazing is that someone would just flat out refuse to even listen to the thing because of it's label....

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2019, 11:15:47 AM »
In my opinion, the earth is flat.....

Sorry, had to go there.

Anyway, I also don't enjoy hip-hop music, however there are very occasionally hip-hop songs that someone gets me to listen to and I find it enjoyable, but the vast majority of it, I just don't enjoy.  I'd never claim it wasn't music, however. 

What I find amazing is that someone would just flat out refuse to even listen to the thing because of it's label....

I don't so much "flat out refuse" as I choose to spend my time elsewhere. Just as I don't watch every YouTube video that someone tells me is a must-watch.
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2019, 11:45:06 AM »
I'm a fan of many genres.  I am also a country/bluegrass/Americana fan.


Old Town Road doesn't sound even vaguely country to me.  Of course, FGL's song with Bebe Rexa didn't sound vaguely country to me either, so there's that.  It is as country as Kid Rock's Cowboy.


A few things I see in the press about it really bothers me.  First, no, adding Billy Ray to the track doesn't win any country cred.  People outside of the genre seem to think he's some country superstar.  He isn't, and never really was.  Second, while country does have a representation problem with other races, it isn't as simple as "racism won't let this track be country".  The entire foundations of the genre stem from African Americans.  There's a great speech by Rhiannon Giddens online somewhere that goes into this in detail.  She's a banjo picker/singer/historian extraordinaire. 


This song drops at a fractured time in Country music.  The genre itself is split between traditionalists who want country to sound like country, and labels/execs who think that changing the music to sound more like what's on pop radio will increase sales.  That's why artists like Rhiannon above (as well as Tyler Childers, Yola and many more) who have more traditional sound are shuffled off to Folk/Americana labels.  Meanwhile popular country follows the Taylor Swift path of becoming more pop and less actual country.


To traditionalists, Old Town Road doesn't sound country enough to be labeled country.  But to many of us, neither does 40+% of what Country Radio stations play.  The fact that he's black doesn't impact that.  My grandfather's favorite country singer for most of his life was black.  Starting in the 1950s, Charley Pride had 36 #1 songs, 70 million albums sold in a much more racially divided time than we have today.  Today, there are plenty of good black country artists.  Most aren't getting radio play, but for my money most good country artists in general aren't getting radio play.  Especially not women.




If you want to hear hip-hop, then by all means listen to it.  I don't have anything against the song, or the artist.  In fact, I think Nas X here made a brilliant move in capitalizing on the TikTok thing in a way that gamed the streaming system.  I don't love the song, but I'm not exactly the target audience.  Is it music? Of course.  Is it good?  I don't know, I don't think I'm qualified to make that call since I'm not exactly an expert on hip-hop.  Is it country?  No.  If you like it, buy it.  He'll get more money from an Mp3 download than he will from a spotify stream.






If anyone is interested in who I think of as good modern country artists (black or otherwise), I'd be happy to post links.  However, if you don't like the genre there won't be a ton of crossover appeal.

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Offline PANTS!

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2019, 12:33:18 PM »
There's a great speech by Rhiannon Giddens online somewhere that goes into this in detail.  She's a banjo picker/singer/historian extraordinaire. 

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Offline Captain Video

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2019, 03:25:29 PM »
The racist thing was more of a joke commenting on what I hear from rednecks and less from the music industry. I'm actually hearing more negative from the black community but I'm more immersed in that culture, mostly revolving around his sexuality.

I think the song can be classified as country and that we have seen similar situations before with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. “outlaw tradition” in which it is a badge of honor to be rejected by Nashville as quoted by Cyrus. I guarantee they are line dancing to this song in country bars across America and will be for a long time so it really does not matter what Nashville has to say about it. (or billboard).

He is calling it "Country Trap" and if you listen to a lot of current hip hop you mite hear how his rap style sounds nothing like any other rap style and has a strong country/western feel to it without even adding the music track.

The trap beat itself is really catchy but I agree the music is less classic country bluegrass and more like a western movie soundtrack. The two together really sound good though.  The few lines Cyrus added rounded it out and made it a much better song than the original.
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2019, 03:58:18 PM »

I really don't listen to a ton of current hip hop.  I mean, there are songs I like that have come out in the last couple of years, but I wouldn't say I listen to a wide enough swath of it to have an informed opinion.  I've liked the last couple of releases from Joyner Lucas if that tells you anything at all.


I did listen to the original, and then the remix with Billy Ray.  I do think the remix was a better version, but it still didn't sound country to me.


Outlaw country is still a thing, with artists such as Sarah Shook, Lydia Loveless, Colter Wall and Sturgill Simpson.  But the sound has always been tied to the strings and steel of traditional country instrumentation.  There are rock elements to many of them, punk elements to others.  The division is such that Sturgill's last album won country album of the year at the Grammy's, but couldn't get played on country radio on a dare.  Tyler Childers' last album was straight old-school country and was labeled as Americana for some reason.  His new album just debuted at #1 on the country chart (with a song called "Ever Lovin Hand" about being on the road away from your wife).  Again, won't get country music play or awards.  Kacey Musgraves was basically blackballed from Nashville and has trouble getting airplay as a country artist and that's after winning all of the awards.


As an aside, Sturgill's new album isn't country at all.  It's a rock album he's created an series of anime stories in a concept album/movie thing that will be on Netflix.  The first song was just released and outside of his Kentucky accent, it's not country at all.




That's why people tend to care about what is or is not country.  Things that clearly fit the label get no push from the machine, or airplay from the stations while things that don't get all of the attention.  It's akin to someone telling you how much they love heavy metal acts like Nickleback or Avril Lavigne.  Do they have songs with metal elements?  Sure, but are they Metal?
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2019, 06:43:29 PM »
As I've arrived home, something else occurred to me.  The amount of drive the label establishment puts behind pop-friendly artists is what really bothers me.  There are some great new artists that can't get a lunch reservation in Nashville.  So, I've decided to link some minority artists that I think deserve more press.  I'll put them under a spoiler tag just to keep from cluttering up the thread.


(click to show/hide)




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Offline daniel1948

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Re: WTF IS "Old Town Road"??????
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2019, 09:51:06 PM »
I quite liked the song by Amythyst Kiah under the spoiler tag above.
Daniel
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