Which remix of “Old Town Road” gives the most yeehaw?
Billy Ray Cyrus reigns supreme
Opinion by Sam Weigel
In 50 years, “Old Town Road” is going to be remembered as a generational icon. It’s already broken the record for longest number of weeks spent on the Billboard 100, and its long-term effects are still yet to show themselves. This mass success can only be attributed to one special element, found in the legendary Billy Ray Cyrus Remix.
Sure, most of the track is already there in previous remixes and those following it. But consider this—there is no “Old Town Road” without the Billy Ray Cyrus version. Sure, the track had some serious traction with the original Lil Nas X recording, and it did fairly well in its lifetime both as a meme and a Billboard track. But it’s Mr. Cyrus’ addition that gives “Old Town Road” the redemption that it deserves.
For those that don’t know, “Old Town Road” was briefly removed from the Billboard country tracks because it was deemed (by some committee of likely jaded old men) not to be “country” enough for the list. All of a sudden, the heavens parted and “Old Town Road Remix Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus” appeared, increasing the song’s popularity tenfold and turning the tale of a goofy cowboy trap song into an epic saga changing popular music forever.
Other variations and additions of the song, one from yodel-sensation Mason Ramsey and Young Thug, another from Diplo, may stand as testament to the awesome and unstoppable power of Lil Nas X’s unprecedented anthem. But can they lay claim to triggering a musical paradigm shift, harmoniously fusing two genres, rap and country, thought to be sworn enemies since the dawn of the millennia? When all is said and done, what will remain of Lil Nas X’s legacy? Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X’s original remix will persist as the ultimate phenomenon in the verses of history, and for that reason, it bests every other version and remix.
Young Thug and Mason Ramsey excel
Opinion by Amanda Blackman
Any baby born after April 13, 2019 has only lived in a world where “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X has topped the charts. While “Old Town Road” is irrefutably one of the greatest anthems of the generation, babies born from July 12 on have the honor of living in a world with the best remix topping the charts: “Old Town Road (Remix)” by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, Young Thug, and Mason Ramsey.
The most glaring reason for this track to giddy-up into the number one spot is the ingenuity that this version of the track features. For months, listeners grew familiar and comfortable with the vocals of Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus. Just as popularity began to slow, the public had a whole new experience of the same thing. For a remix of a remix to shoot to the top of the charts is nearly unheard of. The track had hardly changed, and yet it shifted just enough to become something entirely new.
The new additions to this remix, while subtle, alter the entirety of the track. Young Thug’s “yeehaw” introduction shifts the bop in an entirely new direction, as his solo verse amplifies the hip-hop vibes in the country anthem. Suddenly, Mason Ramsey’s iconic yodeling skills elevate the track to an unreached territory with the unforgettable line, “If you ain’t got no giddy up then giddy out my way.”
Speaking of unreached territories, the “Old Town Road (Area 51 Video)” for this remix did what no other remix can. Instead of watching the singers ride down an ugly dusty road, their animated counterparts raid Area 51 to unveil the secrets within. Hijacking a trend to amplify the buzz was not only a brilliant marketing maneuver but garnished the track at least 8.6 million additional listens.
“Old Town Road” has proven itself to be the gift that keeps on giving. Since the release of Young Thug and Mason Ramsey’s remixed remix, more remixes have been released. While more came before and more will most likely follow it, its perfect country-hip-hop balance and revolutionary music video make this track lasso the spot of number one remix of a remix.