5 things you need to know about Lil Nas X.
Do you really know who is the rapper behind “Old Town Road”?
You might not know who sings it, but you’ve certainly heard this line before: “I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road / I’m gonna ride 'til I can't no more”.
Which started as a viral TikTok hit, has now become a No. 1 hit on the Billboard charts for 14 weeks in a row, making Lil Nas X one of the most talked about figures in music right now.
But do you actually know who the hell is he? We'll help you find out.
1. He broke Drake, and helped a country legend reach the top
Since its release, “Old Town Road” became a meme on Tik Tok where people would turn into cowboys at Yeehaw Challenge. Soon after, Lil Nas X started a campaign to get a collaboration from country legend (and Miley Cyrus’ dad) Billy Ray Cyrus. “Why does he need me?”, asked Billy Ray, saying “the song is perfect as it is”.
Billy Ray Cyrus went into the studio to work with Lil Nas X, who was so happy he even teared up. Featuring a few bars and whistling by Billy Ray, the remix made the song climb to the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it an official banger.
“Old Town Road” also became the first number 1 hit for Billy Ray Cyrus, and broke the record for most streams in one single week that previously belonged to “In My Feelings”, by Drake.
In fact, Drake is always mentioned by Lil Nas as one of his major influences, next to Kendrick Lamar and Kid Cudi.
2. He exploded thanks to Tik Tok
Here's a brief history on "Old Town Road." Lil Nas X recorded the song in 2018, but something called the Yeehaw Challenge on Tik Tok helped it become a viral hit in 2019.The Yeehaw Challenge shows people drinking "yee yee juice" and turning into cowboys to the tune of "Old Town Road."
3. He is an old-time huge and famous Nicki Minaj fan
One can say Lil Nas X was actually famous before "Old Town Road" took Billboard by storm. Before rapping his heart out, he was an internet personality tweeting through a bunch of Nicki Minaj fan accounts, such as @NasMaraj and @FactsAboutNM.
4. He’s a Uni drop out turned superstar rapper. But it all began as an internet creative
Lil Nas X real name is Montero Lamar Hill. He was born in 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia. What happened then is as follows:
He dedicated some time to learn how to play the trumpet (it’s his only formal education in music).
He studied for a year at West Georgia before dropping out.
He then dedicated his entire time to the internet, becoming a specialist on the creation of memes and viral content. “I never saw myself making music”, he once said in an interview for Rolling Stone mag.
5. He is gay
Fans have long been crying out for Lil Nas X to come out and help the LGBTQ+ community. So during World Pride Day 2019, he finally did it. How did he do it? In a tweet: “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," followed by a couple of emojis including rainbow.
The tweet references his song, "C7osure (You Like)”, which says:
"Ain't no more actin', man that forecast say I should just let me grow/ No more red light for me, baby, only green, I gotta go/ Pack my past up in the back, oh, let my future take ahold/ This is what I gotta do, can't be regrettin' when I'm old.”
Lil Nas knew that homosexuality is “not really accepted in either the country [or] hip-hop communities,” but he decided to take a step forward anyway.
“It’s something I was considering never doing, ever. Taking to the grave. But I don’t wanna live my entire life — especially how I got to where I’m at — not doing what I wanna do.”
As for the haters, here is what Lil Nas has to say:
"Learning the internet over the past couple of years, I used to be that person being negative," he said. "So, it's like, I'm not angry or anything because I understand how they just want that reaction. But I'm just going to joke back with them.”
What happened next? Well, we’ve told you already :)