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The Orion

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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Country Trap is making a comeback and could be here to stay

Billy+Ray+Cyrus+reached+out+to+Lil+Nas+X+when+his+song+was+taken+off+of+Billboards+Hot+Country+Songs+chart
Mitchell Kret
Billy Ray Cyrus reached out to Lil Nas X when his song was taken off of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart

Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” has been making waves, signifying growth in the country-trap genre. Its removal from Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart only boosted its reputation and got Billy Ray Cyrus’s attention, who contributed a verse for the remix. While it is not the first example of country rap, it is significant because it is pushing the genre into the mainstream.

The line “Ridin’ on my tractor, lean all in my bladder,” epitomizes country-trap better than I ever could: rural themes with a slight twang alongside the drug-fueled rap we have all grown to love (or hate.) While it seems an equal amount of people hate and praise the song, a new sound in rap is always welcomed.

Young Thug’s 2017 “Beautiful Thugger Girls” album brought the genre some attention, specifically, the song “Family Don’t Matter.” The album leaned much more into trap than it did country, however, the project was swept under the rug by Young Thug’s constant releases as well as the fact that it had no major hits.

In my opinion, the best country trap song is the “Like a Farmer” remix by Lil Tracy and Lil Uzi Vert, however, it has never moved from Soundcloud to major streaming services and never received the mainstream attention it deserved. Its allusions to trap music and country make for a surprisingly elegant trap song that can be laughably ridiculous at times.

To talk about country trap without bringing up Nelly’s “Over and Over” with Tim McGraw would be blasphemous. While the song is more R&B than trap (or country, to be completely honest), it was one of the first instances of a mainstream rapper collaborating with a mainstream country artist to create a lovably corny “I miss you” song. The music video also makes it appear as if Nelly and McGraw are singing to each other for some added entertainment.

Country trap adds a new level of lyricism and depth to the relatively shallow substance of trap rap, and those opposed to the style seem to be fully against one of the two genres that have been combined. I think the genre is a good segue for country fans to listen to more hip hop (though they probably won’t) and hip hop heads to listen to more country (though they probably won’t.)

Whether or not country trap is here to stay depends on what happens next. If another song can show the same quality of what we’ve seen… the trend will likely fizzle out over the next few months. However, if it can represent the genre as well as the songs I’ve named, we could be in for a long ride down the old town road.

Mitchell Kret can be reached at [email protected] or @mkret222 on Twitter.

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