Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Lil Nas X Kerfuffle | Lefsetz Letter

Much ado about nothing.

Somebody not thinking twice at “Billboard” decides it’s not country and suddenly the entirety of country music is racist.

It might be, but the exclusion of “Old Town Road” is not evidence of that.

Oh, come on. Listen to the track, does it sound like country to you? Should Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” have been included on the classical chart?

And the truth is the charts are obsolete. As is radio, which they serve.

Billie Eilish made it with no radio at all. Maybe that’ll shut up all the wankers who e-mail me the over-the-air format is still burgeoning. Not when the younger generation wants nothing to do with it, not when it’s a reactive format as opposed to a risk-taking format. Yup, radio used to break records, now it wants proof before it adds them, and keeps playing those that are successful ad infinitum. If you’re listening to terrestrial music radio you must be brain dead.

The only chart that matters is the streaming one.

But “Billboard” even screws that one up. Leavening in sales. Using a ridiculous metric wherein x number of streams equates with a sale, which is kind of like saying x number of car miles are equivalent to x furlongs covered by a horse. Times changed, the future is here, why can’t the industry and its chart catch up with it?

Because radio and labels don’t want it to. They want to be able to brag about chart position, when the truth is it’s all about the Benjamins and building careers. Look at all the albums labels push to number one that immediately crater. Can you name one track off the last Paul McCartney album? I can’t even remember its name! Yet it entered the chart at number one.

This isn’t about racism, this is about publicity. Lil Nas X and his handlers are laughing all the way to the bank. This is equivalent to Ozzy biting off the head of a bat or Van Halen and the brown M&Ms. Something too whacked to be true popularized by the media that builds the band’s brand.

Come on, would you have heard of “Old Town Road” if there wasn’t this chart brouhaha? Probably not. And now that you’ve listened, do you have to hear it again? This is the number one track in America right now, and it’s little more than a novelty, equivalent to a ride on one of those horses in front of the supermarket. Hell, if you’re singing while riding one of those do you get to be on the country chart?

And country radio ain’t never gonna play “Old Town Road” anyway.

Complain all you want, about Florida Georgia Line and the rest of Nashville appropriating hip-hop influences. Laugh that hip-hop has such power. Cry that the TR-808 drum sound has infected country now too. Where is music that’s alive, that breathes?

This is kinda like asking Top Forty radio to play klezmer music. Hell, “Baby Shark” climbed the “Billboard” chart, I didn’t see it being played on radio. Then again, that’s another illustration of what’s wrong with the “Billboard” singles chart. You mix in sales, streams and radio? How does that work? If you want to know what’s being played on radio, go to Mediabase. If you want to know what’s being streamed, go to Spotify or YouTube. Case closed.

But that’s America today. Everybody’s motive is being questioned.

And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stand up when you’re unfairly treated. But this was an off-the-cuff “Billboard” decision to exclude it, YOU’D HAVE MADE THE SAME CHOICE!

Which is why people are afraid of standing up and speaking their truth, they’re gonna be shouted down by the crowd. The tyranny of social media is what’s shutting people up. Meanwhile, we’ve got a President who says whatever he wants and got elected by doing that.

Play this song for a hundred random people and ask them if it’s country.

I’ll bet my bippy that not a single one will claim it is!

But evidence of its exclusion is proof of country racism.

As for Billy Ray Cyrus, he hasn’t had a hit in eons. If Debbie Gibson raps on a track and radio doesn’t play it does that mean the station hates women?

Have a sense of humor here folks. Don’t be so knee-jerk. This isn’t even a tempest in a teapot. It’s just another blown-up story in the endless tsunami of crap we encounter online every day. That’s the internet, where that which matters is mixed in with that which doesn’t and people have no idea of the truth and based on these false/fake/fakokta reports, they’re misinformed and testifying wrongly.

Let’s move on.


Old Town Road


No comments: