Bleats

Lil Nas X And Billy Ray Cyrus’s Iconic 'Old Town Road' Remix Is Far From The First Country-Rap Banger

Yee - and we cannot stress this enough - haw.

There’s a storm a-brewing in both country and hip hop at the moment, and the gentleman you may know best as Miley’s Dad just threw a ten-gallon hat full of fuel into the fire.

Billboard have been copping it all week for removing a song from the top of its Hot Country chart – after it climbed to #1 on the back of a TikTok meme – for not “embracing” country elements enough.

You’d think a song about horses, tractors, cowboy hats and Wrangler jeans that’s called ‘Old Town Road’ and builds on a slow, lonesome plucked guitar note is giving country a pretty solid hug – but it’s also by an Atlanta artist called Lil Nas X and has a big old trap beat right down the middle, so apparently that cancels out the cowboy tropes.

After an uproar about genre, race and who owns what labels, Lil Nas X came back with a surprise remix featuring none other than Billy Ray Cyrus.

Yes, that’s Cyrus Senior dropping – and I cannot stress this enough – straight fire.

That is some gotdamn wholesome content.

After the backlash and the incredible response to the remix – including it hitting #1 on US Spotify – Billboard suddenly (heh) changed their tune and said it would revisit whether ‘Old Town Road’ would in fact now be country enough for the country chart.

“Billboard welcomes the excitement created by genre-blending tracks such as Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road; and will continue to monitor how it is marketed and how fans respond,” Billboard told Rolling Stone.

“Our initial decision to remove “Old Town Road” from the Hot Country Songs chart could be revisited as these factors evolve.”

“The song is country trap,” Lil Nas X told TIME when asked whether it belonged on the country or hip hop charts.

“It’s not one, it’s not the other. It’s both. It should be on both.”

It’s pretty wild how controversial this has been considering how many R&B and hip hop artists have embraced yee-haw energies to various degrees over the years.

Just a few years ago Beyoncé hit us with a New Orleans-flavoured country track in the middle of Lemonade, and then brought the Dixie Chicks on board:

Taylor Swift was as into huge pop synths as guitar-strumming by the time she had Kendrick feature on the far-superior-to-the-original ‘Bad Blood’ remix (which, by the way, didn’t chart on Hot Country, nor should it have), but she’s still one of the biggest country crossover stars ever:

Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg also hang out heaps. Can’t think why.

But the one artist being brought up more than any other in comparison to ‘Old Town Road’ – over and over, you could say – is Nelly.

https://www.twitter.com/scumisntdead/status/1114231366349094913

This is a guy whose international breakout single was called ‘Country Grammar’, after all.

Anyway, we can all agree that the only losers in this truly iconic peak crossover moment in music history are those basics who describe their music taste as “everything except rap and country”.

There are no genre silos any more, Stacey. Hop on this label-free future-horse and ride til you can’t no more.

These Iconic Aussie Ads Will Help You Freshen Up The GIF Game In Your Group Chat

MARGE! MARGE!

Are you tired of your old, busted GIFs?

‘How do you do, fellow kids’ and ‘You’re doing amazing, sweetie’ not cutting it any more?

Maybe you should look closer to home – at some of the classic Aussie ads from your childhood that still live on in your subconscious. You’re probably already quoting some of them on the regular.

“Not Happy, Jan”

The iconic screech of displeasure from the Yellow Pages ad is the mum-jeans of GIFs: familiar, yet overdue for a comeback.

When to use it: when you’re texting your work wives about how someone keeps stealing your special milk from the office fridge.

“Go To Bed, Jessica”

This grim anti-drink driving ad freaked us all out as kids, so it carries a stern, authoritative, but weirdly hilarious vibe.

When to use it: when one of your mates is off chops and spamming the chat with inexplicable memes.

A hard-earned thirst

Whether VB is actually your fave beer or not, there’s not denying that cracking open a cold one with the boys works on multiple levels.

When to use it: when you have a hard-earned thirst, obviously.

“CHIPPIES!”

Before the Babadook, there was the Gobbledok, who just loves his Smiths chips and also haunting your nightmares.

When to use it: to indicate you’re eating your feelings again.

“Marge! The rains are here!”

The old McCain’s ad for the juiciest corn might be the most quotable one here.

When to use it: when the rains are here. Duh. (Or when you have a hard-earned thirst.)

“NO, GARY, NO!”

We may never know if Gary kicked the cancer sticks for good, but we’ll always have his cheer squad.

When to use it: constantly. Your mates are a hot mess.

Bruno Ganz, The Star Of The Best Ever Hitler Meme, Has Died

The man whose brilliant performance made Hitler hitlarious.

Around 2008, the very best meme on the entire internet was the Downfall parody.

It’s based on a clip of the German film Downfall, from a scene where Adolf Hitler, losing WWII from his underground bunker in Berlin, is told he cannot win the war – and absolutely loses it at his underlings.

Turned out that you could put a rant just about anything in the subtitles, and it would be funny.

Of course, the reason the meme works so well is because of the absolutely compelling original performance, by Swiss actor Bruno Ganz.

Ganz died at home in Zurich on Friday night, aged 77.

He was also in the Kate Winslet film The Reader and Wim Wenders’ cult classic The Wings Of Desire, among dozens of other credits. And he nearly played Richard Gere’s role in Pretty Woman, which suggests an alternative universe where Richard Gere played an unravelling Hitler to critical acclaim.

He was also considered the greatest living actor in the German-speaking theatre.

But unlike most acclaimed and beloved Swiss theatre actors, he also brought joy to millions and gained a new level of notoriety for his most famous performance through an extremely silly appropriation of it that gave us a new way to complain about stuff.

Ganz never made any public comments about the meme, but the film’s director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, said in multiple interviews that he loved them.

“I think I’ve seen about 145 of them!” he told NY Mag in 2010. “Of course, I have to put the sound down when I watch. Many times the lines are so funny, I laugh out loud, and I’m laughing about the scene that I staged myself! You couldn’t get a better compliment as a director.”

“The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality.

“I think it’s only fair if now it’s taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like.”

And in 2015, he told The Big Issue:

“Humour comes from intelligence and where there is intelligence there is curiosity and if you are curious and asking questions there will not be war.

“Laughing is the best cure to ensure the evil is kept at bay.”

Ganz’ performance in that scene goes beyond genuine terror or memeworthy rants – it gave us a little of the best and worst in ourselves.

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