Music by VICE

Diplo Continues His Yeehaw Phase With a Perfectly OK "Old Town Road" Remix

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus joined him for the first-ever live performance of the song at last weekend's Stagecoach.

by Colin Joyce
Apr 29 2019, 2:46pm

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

We are in the midst of the dawning of a new age of yeehaw and Diplo will be damned if he's not going to get himself a piece of the action. The producer born Thomas Wesley Pentz has apparently noticed the tumbleweeds rolling across the great plains of culture and decided to start wearing Stetson hats, tweeting "howdy," and playing country music festivals. Not that I would ever question Diplo's country music bonafides—the man was born in Mississippi, after all—the timing's just funny, you know.

Last week, he released a song under his given name—one of those typical back to your roots moves—with the country singer Cam. The promo videos for the track featured Diplo cracking beers and palling around with horses on a farm. It's all a bit on the nose but it did result in the neologism "#yeehouse," which essentially seems to mean the sort of MOR dance-pop Diplo's been doing on his own over the last half-decade or so with a sorta twangy vocal on top. It's simple and nice, even if it feels a bit calculated.

Yeehouse gets its second track today with a new remix of the biggest song in the country, Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road." It's a pretty basic flip. The instrumental sections get stretched out a bit and a loping breakbeat gets added, turning it into a sorta quasi trip-hop thing, which I guess is the Diplo twist at this point. It's nothing unexpected, but it's cool and it gives all the big EDM dudes a way to drop this on festival main stages without throwing off the flow too much.

Songs seem to rarely get to No. 1 these days without Diplo taking it for his purposes in some way. So in some ways this whole thing feels inevitable, but it's still impressive how much he was able to get on the ground floor here. At this weekend's Stagecoach Festival, Diplo brought out Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus for the first-ever live performance in the song. It was momentous occasion in the middle of a Diplo set at a country music festival, a string of words that only could have been made possible by people on Twitter pushing the yeehaw agenda.

Listen to it here.