Blake Shelton is claiming the lyrics in his new song aren’t meant to shade Lil Nas X, but his history of questionable tweets has a lot people going “hmmmmmm.”
In a duet with Trace Adkins, “Hell Right,” the duo take a clear shot at Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” which recently broke the Billboard Hot 100 record for most weeks spent in the number-one spot (before being dethroned by Billie Eilish). But Shelton and Adkins don’t seem too happy for the rapper. “Then the girl from the small town took off the ‘Old Town,’ put on a little Hank Jr,” Shelton sings on “Hell Right,” to which Adkins responds: “Thank god.” Sounds like shots have been fired.
A spokesperson for Shelton was quick to do damage control, telling Variety the call out is “absolutely not throwing any kind of shade at Lil Nas X at all.” “Blake says this literally has nothing to do with anything at all except how much the song is played,” the representative said. “It could have been Achy Breaky Heart or any other (overplayed) song.”
According to the rep, Shelton talked to Billy Ray Cyrus — who was featured on a popular remix of “Old Town Road” — about the digand he “thought it was funny.”
Lil Nas X knows what the real tea is, though, writing in a since-deleted tweet that an unnamed song “don’t slap like old town road tho.”
Shelton, of course, has a history of homophobic and problematic comments, which resurfaced when he became People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2017 (has anyone at People ever seen Blake Shelton... or any other men?). In a series of tweets probably unearthed by some angry Gwen Stefani stans, Shelton pokes fun at date rape, immigrants, terrorism, and homosexuality.
He even tweeted in 2011 that he was defiling Shania Twain's catalog by rewriting her lyrics: "Any man that tries Touching my behind He's gonna be a beaten, bleedin', heaving kind of guy..."
You know what I find sexy in a man? "Being kind of shitty" and "being not very smart." pic.twitter.com/pyILzW0E18
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 15, 2017
Shelton issued an apology that wasn’t exactly an apology, saying “comedy has been a major part” of his career. “That said anyone that knows me also knows I have no tolerance for hate of any kind or form,” he added. “Can my humor at times be inappropriate and immature? Yes. Hateful? Never. That said I deeply apologize to anybody who may have been offended."
Well, tell that to Lil Nas X’s gay ass!