Dear Millennials, Please Stop Stealing This Old Town Road Street Sign, It's Not Funny Or Cute
Where will we take our horses?
Since its release in December 2018, Lil Nas X’s country rap hit ‘Old Town Road’ has been broken the Internet and records all over the world.
Just last month, the track became the most successful number one song of all-time when it reached its 19th week in first place on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It also went viral on Tik Tok and racked up over 580 MILLION streams on Spotify.
The song is so popular, however, it’s starting to cause serious issues in a small town in Massachusetts because people keep stealing the street sign for the IRL Old Town Road.
According to The Swellesley Report, the town of Wellesley has had to replace the sign three times since the track went viral.
“The behaviour is likely the work of individuals playing pranks, but it costs the town a lot of time and money to locate, repair – and where the signs and posts are damaged – replace, and reinstall the signs,” Wellesley communication and project manager Stephanie Hawkinson said.
Apparently, the street signs have been discarded everywhere from “residents’ yards to town parks to wooded areas to wetlands,” and honestly, it sounds like a right pain in the arse for the poor soul who has to relocate and replace them.
To make matters worse, The Swellesley Report says the street signs have become a “hot item” in other towns as well. While they have no confirmation and suspect communities would rather not draw attention to it, the towns of Walpole and Holliston also have Old Town Roads.
Perhaps Wellesley and the like could take note from the town of Sicamous in British Columbia. Instead of letting the sign thieves get them down, Daily Hive says the Sicamous and District Chamber of Commerce has decided to replicate the signs and sell them “as a nod of appreciation to Lil Nas X” for $25 a pop.
If it means giving people an official location to take their horses and ride ‘til they can’t no more, we’re on board.
The 1975's New Single Is A Huge Slap In The Face For Climate Change Deniers
Time to wake up.
Instead of blessing us with yet another banger, British band The 1975 have released a new single containing a very powerful and important message about climate change.
The track features 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg speaking over the band’s minimal background music: “We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis. And we need to call it what it is. An emergency.”
“We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control and that we don’t have all the solutions yet. Unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things,” she continued.
“We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.”
“…So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel,” she ended her moving speech.
Thunberg announced via social media that all profits from the release of the track will go to socio-political movement Extinction Rebellion.
The young activist addressed legislators at France’s parliament this week where she told them to “unite behind the science” of climate change, and said “you don’t have to listen to us, but you do have to listen to the science.”
Thunberg’s words couldn’t have come at a more pivotal time. According to BBC news, action will need to be taken in the next 18 months to deal with the global heating crisis, amongst other environment concerns. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that to keep the rise of global temperatures below 1.5C this century, we would need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030.
Clearly, we’re seriously running out of time, and every little action we take now is critical.
I Hate Country Music So I Listened To It For A Week Straight
*angrily boot scoots*
If you’ve been poking around social media or Spotify lately, you would have noticed a growing trend: country music.
Gone are the days when haters would say “every song sounds the same,” and the genre was reserved for ten gallon hat-wearing cowboys.
These days, country is honky tonking its way into mainstream charts, influencing the wardrobes of the rich and famous, and has even gained a loyal following of Tik Tok-loving little kids.
Just take rapper Lil Nas X, who broke the Internet with ‘Old Town Road’ and spawned a whole new musical genre dubbed ‘Country Trap.’ The song eventually found its way to the video sharing platform Tik Tok and became an overnight sensation.
Lil Nas X isn’t the only artist profiting off the current country music wave, either. This year, we’ve seen viral hits from the likes of Blanco Brown, not to mention Kacey Musgraves, who took home four awards at this year’s Grammys.
So, why do I hate it so much? I’ve always found country music super cheesy and repetitive but in saying that, I’ve never really given it the time of day.
What better way to overcome my hatred of the musical genre than by exposing my eardrums to it for a week straight. Some might say that’s torture, but I say game on.
The best way to tackle this challenge was from the very beginning – the 1920s to be specific. With high hopes and an open mind, I plugged Jimmy Rogers and The Carter Family into my Spotify, and look, I’m not going to lie…
The only takeaway was that rhyming “tuesdie” with “Susie” is genius and that this kind of jangly, repetitive music is great for completing mundane tasks like brushing your teeth or tying your shoelaces. After that, it sadly starts to sound the same.
Day two wasn’t much better. Bob Wills was too much violin for anyone’s Tuesday morning and all Gene Autry gave me was “here comes Santa Claus” rattling around my head for the rest of the week. Also, much to my disappointment, I’m not five years old, so songs about the Easter Bunny and Rusty the Rocket Horse don’t do it for me anymore.
The day did take a slightly more positive turn with Hank Williams’ banger ‘Hey Good Lookin,’ which is essentially the 1940s version of sliding into someone’s DMs. However, I was sent spiralling once again with ‘My Son Calls Another Man Daddy.’ It could just be PMS, but old mate Hank is pulling at my heartstrings.
Unpopular opinion, but ‘Walk The Line’ by Johnny Cash is quite boring. On the other hand, ‘Movin’ On’ and ‘Folsom City Blues’ made me simultaneously toe tap and crave a whisky sour. It’s 8am and I’m worried.
Next, I moved onto Elvis, who was a country music icon even though he’s the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ stirred up emotions again that were quickly squashed by ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ and ‘Suspicious Minds’ which someone needs to cover for Like A Version.
Before I could do anything else I was distracted by Spotify reminding me of the ‘Little Less Conversation’ remix of 2002 and I’m sent into a deep dark rabbit hole of nostalgia.
Day four started with John Denver. It took me forever to figure out where I had heard ‘Annie’s Song’ and then I had a major epiphany and realised it was from this truly iconic scene in My Best Friend’s Wedding – but in helium-style.
I got bored and moved onto Dolly Parton, who did NOT disappoint. Dolly is the first solo female singer in my experiment, and what a female she is. ‘9 to 5’ is the ultimate eff you to The Man, and am I the only person who didn’t realise ‘I Will Always Love You’ was Dolly’s before Whitney’s? I was shook.
I tried to give Willie Nelson a go, and absolutely no shade, but it just wasn’t for me. Sorry Willie. I also gave Kenny Rogers a listen and ‘The Gambler’ is essentially about a drunken D&M which is something I can relate to on a very personal level. ‘Islands In The Stream’ featuring our beloved Dolly is equally as iconic, and who’da thunk it would go on to inspire this banger of a 00s track!?
On day five, I started with Garth Brooks. Surprisingly, there’s not a lot available to stream from this guy and then I got sidetracked trying to remember if it was him or Kenny Chesney that was married to Renee Zellweger for a hot second. It was Kenny Chesney.
Next up was the Dixie Chicks. I was already a fan of their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Landslide’ and I was really enjoying it until I heard their cover of Tammy Wynette’s ‘Stand By Your Man’ which feels a touch problematic in 2019. I mean, c’mon, the lyrics are “You’ll have bad times, and he’ll have good times…but you’ll love him you’ll forgive him, even though he’s hard to understand.”
I moved onto Tim McGraw and was thoroughly enjoying ‘Highway Home’ until Taylor Swift popped up out of nowhere. Sorry, Swifties. Also, remember when Tim McGraw collaborated with Nelly on this cracker from 2004?
I ended day five on a *literal* high note with Faith Hill. ‘Breathe’ is officially my new karaoke song and how did I not know that ‘This Kiss’ was her masterpiece!?
Day six arrived and Florida Georgia Line was first up. ‘Meant To Be’ has over 740M streams on Spotify, and I’m not surprised, it’s catchy AF. Also, ‘Life Is A Honeymoon’ is some sort of strange country/reggae mashup but it, just…works.
Carrie Underwood was next on my list. At this point, I felt like I was listening to mostly pop songs, but with a little strategically-placed violin, BOOM, we back to country, y’all. Also, ‘Before He Cheats’ is SAVAGE and I’m rooting for Carrie as she keys her ex’s car.
I skipped ahead to Blake Shelton and sorry, but adding reverb and ‘current’ references like ‘the Dougie’ doesn’t make a song any less lame. I don’t care if everyone thinks you’re charming and you’re dating my queen Gwen Stefani.
Miranda Lambert popped up next and country went full blown emo with ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’. Seriously – I didn’t know whether to apply eyeliner or boot scoot angrily.
Upon hearing that Nicole Kidman was ‘embarrassed’ about hubby Keith Urban’s very thirsty lyrics in ‘Gemini,’ I HAD to listen to it and it lived up to all my expectations. Here’s to being a “maniac in the bed but a brainiac in the head.” Side note: this could be a Shawn Mendes song, just saying.
Before I ended this mammoth day of country music, I gave Lady Antebellum a quick listen. I came to the conclusion that ‘Need You Now’ is the kind of song that plays on the speakers at Woollies when you reluctantly do your grocery shopping hungover. It’s quite comforting.
I made it to the end of the week, and what better way to finish things off than with a bit of Kasey Musgraves. Did she live up to the hype? Yes. Her velvety vocals, catchy chorus, and pronunciation of ‘flowers’ as ‘flaw-ers’ in ‘Slow Burn’ gave me life.
Next I gave ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X a listen despite hearing it literally everywhere I go, and yup, it still goes off. I also want a cowboy hat from Gucci.
Last but not least, I listened to ‘The Git Up’ by Blanco Brown. Okay, I would think this song was so bad it was good, but then it went viral on Tik Tok and was automatically cancelled in my mind. Sorry.
So, there you have it. What did I learn from a week of listening to country music? I learned that it can be really cringeworthy and boring at times, but country music has truly evolved over the last decade.
It’s influenced far more than we give it credit for, including some of my all-time favourite covers and collabs. Am I going to become a country music fan now? Probably not…but I won’t be pressing skip as quick next time around.