Release Date: Jun 21, 2019
Record label: Columbia
Love it, hate it, or simultaneously love it and hate it, "Old Town Road" is not only the song of the summer, but will go down in history as a paradigm for social media marketing. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Lil Nas X, a 20-year-old internet savvy rapper, has managed to make an irreverent country-trap track into a ubiquitous sensation. As a follow-up to his juggernaut of a single, he has dropped 7 -- an eight-track hodgepodge of ideas.
It's hard to believe his entire discography was once "Old Town Road", a country-trap banger that garnered enormous attention everywhere-- the club, the store, the laundromat, the family cookout-- and had its fair share of Billboard controversy when it was pulled from the US Hot Country chart for "not embrac[ing] enough elements of today's country music. " It was virtually inescapable, and to this day, continues to top the charts at #1. Riding the success of this history-making single, Nas X has finally released his long-awaited debut EP, 7.
Made cheaply by a complete unknown, Lil Nas X's country-rap megahit "Old Town Road" is the stuff of pop culture legend. Never mind the controversy surrounding the song being kicked off the country charts for not being quite authentically country enough, or that those moves led to inarguably verified country star Billy Ray Cyrus jumping on an even more popular remix of the track. From a strictly musical standpoint, the song reasserted that an artist can come out of thin air at the right moment and capture the attention of the entire world with a simple, catchy tune.
Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" has burrowed itself into the consciousness of an entire nation, managing to stay at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for 11 weeks and elbowing out Elmo on the elementary-school popularity index. It's part luck, part genius, part of the YeeHaw agenda, a song so unstoppable, it has actually shifted the status quo of country music and is currently one of the biggest singles--and memes--of all time.