Wrangler's Lil Nas X 'Old Town Road' collection slammed as cowboy 'cultural appropriation'

Cydney Henderson

Forget the horses. Wrangler has some critics on its back. 

The jeans apparel company has come under fire for its new partnership with Lil Nas X, the rapper behind the viral country-rap hit "Old Town Road" featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. 

With lyrics filled with cowboy imagery ("Cowboy hat from Gucci/ Wrangler on my booty/ Can't nobody tell me nothin'"), a collaboration with Wrangler appeared to be a no-brainer. 

"Psst...it’s an instant hit. Introducing the new Wrangler Lil Nas X Collection," the clothing company wrote on Instagram Tuesday, adding in another post, "The song and style that’s got the world’s attention."

But the collection, which features the song's title and catchy lyrics on Wrangler jeans and tees, appears to be attracting the wrong kind of attention. In fact, many fans have threatened to boycott the company in what they deem to be "cultural appropriation." 

 Is 'Old Town Road' country enough now?  Billy Ray Cyrus joins Lil Nas X on remix

"This makes me not want to buy wrangler jeans anymore tbh, the cowboy spirit is nothing to be made fun of," user @jc_bennett commented. 

"Can't believe @wrangler stooped to that level, stop trying to conform and stay loyal to your roots," user @carter_petite said, while @wagz9312 added: "Wow what a bunch of sells out…Keep taking the cowboy outta country."

User @logan.waldron wrote: "Wrangler is my favorite pant, and you just had to go and ruin it with old town road."

More: Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus perform 'Old Town Road' together for first time together

Wrangler came to its own defense, responding, "We have a long history of using the platform of popular music to embrace a new generation of fans, while staying true to our Western heritage."

The apparel company continued: "We believe the cowboy spirit is about having courage, independence and confidence, which are the same qualities encapsulated in this limited-run, one-of-a-kind collection."

Others applauded the move. 

"Love this! Haven’t bought wrangler in years but I’ll def be buying a pair," @marymayhem_ said, while others asked when sold-out items would be restocked. 

@faaithwaare added: "It’s time that more brands become culturally diverse while still upholding their original principles. Yet again thank you for this; it was much needed!"

USA TODAY reached out to Wrangler for additional comment. 

Lil Nas X also chimed in. "Y’all really boycotting wrangler?? is it that deep," he tweeted.

The backlash comes after Billboard disqualified Lil Nas X's song "Old Town Road" from the country charts for "not embracing enough elements of today’s country music." 

Cyrus decided to join the 20-year-old Atlanta rapper on the remix to emphasize the song's country assets, including its country and cowboy-themed lyrics and banjo backing.

The song went on to snag No. 1 spots on both Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop at the same time.

Contributing: Palm Springs Desert Sun

More: Billboard's decision to disqualify Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' from country charts is misguided

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wrangler's Lil Nas X 'Old Town Road' collection slammed as cowboy 'cultural appropriation'