Brothers Osborne on Lil Nas X ‘Old Town Road': ‘Dude, Get in Line’
Brothers Osborne were asked about the controversy around Lil Nas X and his rap-country song "Old Town Road" ahead of the 2019 ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 7), and the outspoken country duo did not hold back.
Billboard spoke to the sibling duo of T.J. Osborne and John Osborne on the red carpet at the 2019 ACM Awards, and they asked them for their opinion about Lil Nas X' viral song, which has received massive mainstream attention after going viral and having Billboard remove the song from consideration for its Hot Country Songs chart. Controversy has swirled around what, exactly, constitutes country music in an ever-changing genre, and whether Billboard's decision had anything to do with race. Meanwhile, Billy Ray Cyrus has joined the Atlanta-based rapper for a remix of the viral hit, and Jake Owen has announced plans to collaborate with him.
Asked about the controversy and what country is, T.J. Oborne replies, "Certainly not that" in the red carpet video above.
Watch: Keith Urban Covers "Old Town Road"
"I don't know what country is. It's not for me to say," he clarifies. "For me, if music makes someone feel good, then that's really the whole point of it. However, I don't like that there's this controversy around it ... John and I, we've had some success at country radio, but we still struggle at radio all the time. So to complain about that, to me, is like, 'Dude ... get in line.'"
"There are tons of girls just waiting for the moment, waiting in line writing great songs, showing up every day in the writing room, sometimes doing two or three or four writes a day, and been in Nashville for over ten years," John Osborne observes. "There's a girl in Nashville right now called Hailey Whitters who's incredible. Go check her music out, and you're like, come on, we need to get this girl propped up. And then this dude decides to put out a song with kinda quasi-country lyrics, about movies or some bulls--t ... let's turn the focus away from that. Don't create controversy and expect that to give you a hall pass. We need great songs."
John says Lil Nas X simply does not compare to the underlying roots of the genre.
"Go listen to Kris Kristofferson and then go listen to that song, and if you tell me they have anything to do with each other, then I will quit," he vows. "I'm out. I'm done with the genre. I'm done."
Brothers Osborne took home Music Event of the Year at the 2019 ACM Awards for their collaboration with Dierks Bentley on "Burning Man," and they also took the stage to rock the house in a joint performance with Maren Morris on "All My Favorite People."
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