Lil Nas X has become a superstar because of his chart-topping, record-breaking single “Old Town Road,” but the song didn’t become a smash hit until it was remixed by country great Billy Ray Cyrus. As we all remember, “Old Town Road” was steeped in controversy when it first gained a buzz due to it being removed from the Billboard country charts for not being…well…country enough. The song was criticized and exiled by country fans, a move that was regarded by many to be racially motivated, so Cyrus added his vocals to validate “Old Town Road”‘s country credibility.
Over the summer, the pair shared the stage to perform the genre-blending track, and just recently, they took home two trophies at the BET Hip Hop Awards for their single. “Thank you to the BET Hip Hop Awards and hip hop/rap community for the Best Collab and Single of the Year wins,” Cyrus said. “You kept OTR at No. 1 for 19 consecutive weeks. More importantly, you made me feel welcomed into your home and world. I’m dedicating these wins to Mr. Nipsey Hussle—a legend gone way too soon.”
As polite as Cyrus has been when it comes to occupying hip hop spaces, there have been some who have accused him of being insincere with his approach. The topic was discussed on this week’s episode of State of the Culture where Joe Budden wasn’t about to let his co-host degrade Cyrus’s name. “You’re a guest, and that’s what Billy Ray Cyrus has done every time he’s taken the stage,” Joe said. “He comes and he says, ‘Thank y’all for having me.'”
Eboni K. Williams asked Remy Ma if she thinks Cyrus was “pandering” to his audience. “I’m not really sure,” Remy said, speculatively. Joe interjected. “Pandering!? Nah, I’m not gon’ let y’all do that.” He added, “We gotta stop that as black people. Take a sh*t or get off the toilet. The little n*gga put a record out. The message was, ‘Hey, country won’t let me in. The white people are white people-ing again‘. So, it took for Billy Ray Cyrus ass to come and say, ‘No, white people. Y’all gon’ take this ’cause I’m on this motherf*cka and I’m country.’ He stood up! So let’s not do that now that the kid has gotten all of the accolades. Let’s not even mention it!” Check out the clip below and sound off in the comments on what you think of Joe’s stance.