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‘Old Town Road’ Censored Marijuana Lyric Revealed

August 7, 2019

After 17 weeks at number one on the Hot 100 charts, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” might be played out for you. The longest running Hot 100 single in history has spawned numerous remixes with Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, Young Thug, Mason Ramsey, and RM.

But there’s one remix we’re still missing—the one with Billy Ray singing his original, uncensored marijuana lyric. That’s correct. The smash hit of the summer originally had a shout out to weed.

Cyrus disclosed to Taste of Country Nights that the first draft of his feature spot on Lil Nas X’s remix track was, ‘Baby’s got a habit, diamond rings and marijuana.’

“For some reason I immediately thought it was funny to say [the lyric],” Cyrus told interviewer Evan Paul. The interviewer laughed.

“See, it is funny!” Cyrus said.

But Columbia Records responded negatively.

“They said, ‘Everything but the ‘marijuana’.’”

“And [the producer] said, ‘How about fendi sports bra’, and I said ‘What? It’s probably good, I don’t know what it is.’”

“So boom, that just kind of happened. We rolled with it in just minutes and then I got behind the microphone and started singing,” Cyrus said.

“I do live very much in the moment,” Cyrus said. “I’m very spontaneous … and really enjoying the moment of being a full-time musician.”

There may be some truth to the original lyric. Cyrus posted to Facebook Feb. 15 a picture of his wife, Tish, posing in front of a large commercial supply of cannabis.

“Yes! Like I said Tish Cyrus…. my how the times they are a changing #CrAzYMaMa”

That came after daughter and performer Miley Cyrus outed her mom as an enthusiast in December.

“My dad’s got a farm and [mom’s] like ‘I’m just going to quit everything and grow.’ She’s my manager. So if my mom quits everything, that’s quitting me to go home and, like, grow weed,” Miley said.

So why was Columbia Records nervous? The latest polls show 65% of Americans now support cannabis legalization. More than half of conservatives (56%) say they support it as well.

Would Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” remix have done even better with a nod to declining cannabis stigma among women? We’ll never know.

“That song could have done something if they kept [the cannabis lyric] in there,” Cyrus joked.

David Downs's Bio Image
David Downs

David Downs directs news and lifestyle coverage as the California Bureau Chief for Leafly.com. He's written for WIRED, Rolling Stone and Billboard, and is the former cannabis editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as the author of several cannabis books including 'Marijuana Harvest' by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs. He co-hosts The Hash podcast. TW: @davidrdowns | IG @daviddowns

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