Minimum Gauge: 'Billboard' Decides Lil Nas X’s Country Hit Isn't Country Enough to Be on the Country Charts

Plus, science says Hip Hop can make cheese taste better and The Cure's Robert Smith offers a devastatingly blunt zinger ahead of his band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

click to enlarge Lil Nas X - Photo: Eric Lagg
Photo: Eric Lagg
Lil Nas X
HOT: Ceci N’est Pas Country Music?

Though it seems to have no problem with Pop or even EDM crossovers, recent maneuvers on Billboard’s Country music charts indicate the chart service might not be as willing to accept Country Rap artists. Though anyone with ears can hear the Country (mixed with rapping and Trap beats) in Lil Nas X’s viral hit/meme-magnet “Old Town Road (I Got Horses in the Back),” Billboard decided that, after the song had reached No. 19 on its Hot Country Songs chart, it would no longer be eligible for Country charting and removed it. In a statement to Rolling Stone, Billboard said the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version,” but others felt the disqualification was close-minded and because Lil Nas X is African American (even though one of the genre’s biggest rising stars, Kane Brown, is black). Regardless, the controversy is inevitably going to help push the song higher up on every other chart for which it is eligible.

WARM: Beats, Rhymes, Life and Cheese

Not an April Fools’ joke nor an Onion post: Researchers at Switzerland’s Bern University of Arts recently released findings of a study on how music affects the flavor and aroma of cheese. After placing Swiss cheese wheels in wooden crates, researchers exposed them to a variety of music 24 hours a day for several months via transmitters that pumped soundwaves into the cheese (vs. blaring it at the cheese via speakers). According to a jury of tasters, the differences between styles were very pronounced. Among the music tested (including Classical and EDM), Hip Hop was deemed to have had the strongest impact, enhancing the “fruitiness” of the smell and taste.

COLD: Laughter is The Cure

The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony saw Stevie Nicks perform with Harry Styles, a Roxy Music reunion and David Byrne inducting Radiohead, but the highlight may have been something that took place offstage. In a viral clip from the pre-show red carpet, Robert Smith of inductees The Cure was approached by an exceptionally peppy reporter, who offered elated congratulations and asked, “Are you as excited as I am?!” Without missing a beat, Smith perfectly deadpanned, “Um, by the sounds of it, no.”

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