Around the turn of the century, a pair of young white rappers, Bubba Sparxxx and Colt Ford, were beginning to work with Shannon Houchins, a producer in the Atlanta rap innovator Jermaine Dupri’s camp.
lil nas x old town road live – ‘I Prayed That Being Gay Was Just A Phase’
Lil Nas X‘s single Panini,” so named in honor of the character from Chowder , is about fans who love you when you’re up and coming but cool off once you actually arrive. Yet he’s no longer the unconnected bedroom amateur who made Old Town Road” from a beat he bought online for 30 bucks. A clear contender for best new artist at the 2020 Grammy Awards, Lil Nas X has quickly gone pro; 7” contains input from high-level music-industry fixtures such as Ryan Tedder, who’s written and produced for Beyoncé and Adele, and Boi-1da, known for his work with Drake. What’s impressive about the EP is not that he’s managed to survive in this new environment; it’s that he’s thriving.
After 19 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, Lil Nas X has ended his reign as the longest-running chart-topper Now he’s ready for world domination with “Panini,” his follow-up single. In June, the “Old Town Road” rapper released the song ahead of his debut EP, 7, with an unofficial video that teased the futuristic approach he was leaning toward, but the original clip is nothing compared to “Panini”‘s official treatment. In the video, former Disney star Skai Jackson is doing her best to mind her business while Lil Nas pops up every place she turns. And he’s really pretty much everywhere: virtual billboards, alleyways, and the wing of her plane. Feel free to take the video metaphorically, because his presence in it is similar to the mega-success of the ubiquitous “Old Town Road” this summer. It’s clear that Lil Nas knows the future is his for the taking.
That there’s a splash of hip-hop coursing through country (its male performers, at least) is now fundamentally accepted, but always with the country performer — and the country music business — in control of just how much.
Have you heard? Lil Nas X has decided to take some time off from music and live outside of the spotlight for a while. Watch Lil Nas X, Billy Ray and Keith perform Old Town Road” below.
Nothing, though, is immune from the force and urgency of the meme economy, and Lil Nas X has demonstrated himself to be a master of how to pachinko his way from the margins to the mainstream. Old Town Road” began on SoundCloud, where he tagged it as country to avoid competing with the hip-hop heavyweights that dominate the platform. Once it began to get noticed, he pushed it heavily on TikTok, the short-performance-clip app , where it was the soundtrack to thousands of videos.
Lil started his music career in June 2018 after his music video was released on YouTube in December 2018 and it received more than 1 million views. He initially started his music career as Internet Personality on Twitter through his ‘Nicki Minaj‘ fan account named ‘NasMaraj’.
In April, we got a remix of the song featuring ‘90s country pop star Billy Ray Cyrus. The argument could be made that Cyrus was the great white hope for X’s crossover success—the only difference between the remix and the original is the additional verse by Cyrus, adding little to the track itself. He makes a strong contribution, but it wasn’t needed to make the song true country” any more than Beyoncé needed any of her collaborators to skyrocket her hits to the top. No, Old Town Road’s country merit stands alone. But despite any problematic politics, the song got another surge of popularity and catapulted both singers into the stratosphere.
Singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett , who has racked up an impressive amount of hits within the last handful of years with songs such as Die a Happy Man,” Life Changes,” Craving You” and more, will headline Stagecoach for the first time and officially kick off the party on Friday night. American Idol” winner and country music superstar Carrie Underwood will return to top the festival for a third time on Saturday night in her first trip back since 2016. Eric Church is also returning for a third time He headlined Friday nights in 2014 and 2016, but will close out the Mane Stage on Sunday.
This song blew up on TikTok originally, it’s become a meme. It went #1 on the Apple Music country charts and it also went #1 on the Spotify US Viral, Global Viral, and US Top 50 charts.
In the song “C7osure,” Lil Nas X says that’s tired of hiding who he is. Hours later the 20-year-old rapper posted a video thanking his fans for helping his song set a new record.
News of the rapper’s musical timeout comes shortly after his second breakout single, Panini”, officially went platinum. X’s hit-single Old Town Road,” also spent an impressive and record-breaking 19 weeks atop the Hot 100 charts, surpassing a decades-old Billboard record previously held by Mariah Carey for her 1995 hit ‘śOne Sweet Day,” starring Boyz II Men.
Around the turn of the century, a pair of young white rappers, Bubba Sparxxx and Colt Ford, were beginning to work with Shannon Houchins, a producer in the Atlanta rap innovator Jermaine Dupri’s camp. Houchins would go on to produce most of Dark Days, Bright Nights,” Sparxxx’s independent debut album, which got him signed to the major label Interscope and partnered with the producer Timbaland, who steered country-rap to its first big breakthrough moment: Sparxxx’s single Ugly,” a hip-hop and pop hit with a video that included a pig sty and a tractor race, and went to No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sparxxx’s follow-up album, Deliverance,” was a stunning and elegant cross-genre statement radically unlike anything that had preceded it. It made less of a broad impact, but in the wake of Sparxxx’s innovations came a wave of artists who effectively identified as country rappers focused on rural storytelling and signifiers — growing up far from cities, partying at mud bogs and so on.
Nicki Minaj Is Finally Back in Queen Form Her new songs suggest she’s capable of regaining the strangle she once had on rap and pop radio. Vox’s Today, Explained podcast chronicles Lil Nas X’s challenges with the charts.
Exactly. And then finally, if we look at the lyrics, this is just through-and-through full of country music lyrical tropes. You got to be on a road. You gotta have a cowboy hat, right. You got to be wearing Wrangler jeans in this case, right.
Five staffers from Billboard released an article in the publication and the majority of them wrote it off as, Oh, it’s sort of a fluke hit, it’s a joke.” The following week it was gone from the country chart. It was on the Hot 100 and the rap chart. But Old Town Road” was not on the country chart.
Jason Lipshutz: I could see it going top 10, at least. Old Town Road” appears to be blowing up during a seam in the release calendar, in which most of the winter smashes have begun to melt away from public consciousness but the summer song heavy hitters have yet to fully drop. That fortuitous timing is helping Lil Nas X not only dominate streams but the attention of chart watchers. Let’s face it: Old Town Road” is a fascinating fluke hit, but probably wouldn’t be the topic of this conversation if it had begun rising during the competitive summer months.
On Sunday the “Old Town Road” singer urged fans via Twitter to listen closely to the lyrics of “C7osure,” a song from his latest release, 7 EP. “Some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure,” he wrote, adding a rainbow emoji.
Lil Nas X has opened up about his decision to come out as gay last week, explaining he hopes that by going public with his sexuality, he can inspire change in the music world.
The overdue love comes just as Lil Nas X is preparing for Friday’s release of 7,” the major-label debut EP that will determine whether his left-field country-trap hit marks the beginning of a long career in music or the end of a very short one. But here’s a twist worthy of the delightfully unpredictable ride he’s been on so far: With Nashville on his side at last, Lil Nas X has up and left country music behind.
Some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to ‘c7osure’,” Lil Nas X wrote on Twitter along with a clip from his song C7osure” and a rainbow emoji.
The question of is it country enough?” is by far the most baffling argument in music in recent years. Country no longer follows the rules of its legends. The traditional guitar and the fiddle solos found in some of the popular country to grace those same charts are now usually just the co – stars to the modern pop sounds (which ironically, have major trap influence.) No, Old Town Road” is not authentic country, but country is no longer authentic country either.
So Old Town Road” is in the center of an interesting conversation now about who and what gets to count as country music. But as country continues to absorb other genres — like there’s country rap, a lot of country music artists are collaborating with pop stars — the traditionalists, the purists who think of country as the Old Town Road” literally, they start to question who gets to be in it.
On this episode of Today, Explained, Vox Culture Editor Allegra Frank chronicles Lil Nas X’s challenges with the charts and Charlie Harding, co-host of the Switched on Pop podcast, attempts to figure out what counts as country.