In part 1, we explore the positive story and the actual unlikely connection between hip hop and country.


Lil Nas X is disrupting music as we know. Lil Nas X is making waves in two genres that on first glance appears to be an odd pairing, Country and Hip Hop music. This is a story that can only happen in America. Without the help or support of Country music labels, Lil Nas X has the number one song “Old Town Road” on the Country, Hip hop and Billboard charts. It’s a testament to the genius and innovation of so many African American Artists. Hip hop is already mainstream and now it's coming to country music. The real truth is that Country music actually finds its roots from enslaved Africans, who were the first to mainstream musical instruments, such as the banjo into into what we know as country music today. The music tradition continued over the years with, Ray Charles, Hootie, and the Blow Fish, Nelly and Tim Mcgraw, and Jimmie Allen and Karen Brown, along with many others. Hip hop and Country actually have a lot in common and come from similar roots. They both tell stories over music and describe the pain or real-life situations communities are facing.  This should be a good story of art uniting us instead some want to say this is not country music.

But instead, some find division where there should be unity. Initially, Country music kicked Lil Nas X off the charts. Finding roots in the tradition to exclude black artist as if country music is an ethnicity, not an art. Outrage mounted when Wrangler jeans partnered with Lil Nas X to create a clothing line, some accused Wrangler of being politically and chasing after diversity and inclusion. Huh? Are they serious? Since when did collaboration and diversity become a political issue? And why are diversity and inclusion controversial anyway? Old Town Road’s unique and diverse sound is a great example of why diversity and inclusion are at the heart of innovation and what really makes America great.  




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