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Lil Nas X suddenly a phenomenon

By Elise Glenn | Staff Reporter
On April 17, 2019

20-year-old rapper Lil Nas X
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Lil Nas X’s new single “Old Town Road” has quickly turned into a hit record.

Around this time last year, the 20-year-old rapper dropped out of college hoping that his music career would save him from having to go back to school. In today’s time, social media has a way of rapidly changing a person’s life.

Lil Nas X first introduced his song on SoundCloud and within weeks it gained the attention of thousands.

“This track is so catchy. Like I find myself yelling ‘I got the horses in the back’ randomly throughout the day. It’s probably going to be the song of the summer,” said Jada Perry, a graduating senior at the University of Florida.

In late March, “Old Town Road” appeared on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart before it was removed for being considered “insufficiently country,” which caused an uproar.

This led the young rapper to reach out to the country star phenomena Billy Ray Cyrus to help him remix the song. Within minutes after the song was released it was played by some country radio stations, which helped the song land on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

On April 8, “Old Town Road” became the No. 1 song in the country, and as of April 15 the song has been projected to break rapper Drake’s record, which he earned last summer with his track “In My Feelings.” Billboard reports that Lil Nas X’s record has been streamed over 143 million times over the course of the last seven days, which is 27 million more times than Drake’s record.

Billboard also notes that the song is Cyrus’ first ever Hot 100-chart entry.

“Billboard realized that they were green for taking his song off the charts and that it was indeed a country song. Now he got everybody blasting his song and singing along,” said Austin Boothe, a sophomore psychology major at FAMU from Orlando.

“Old Town Road” is not the first country-rap crossover, but it is the most prominent one. It has gained worldwide attention from not only artists but actors as well. Will Smith posted a clip of his movie “Wild Wild West” on Instagram with the track playing in the background with the caption, “Y’all call me when you’re ready to shoot the video @lilnasx @billyraycyrus.”

Lil Nas X is proving himself to be a force to be reckoned with. This new track went from being taken off the Billboard country charts to landing a No. 1 spot for two consecutive weeks and being played on country stations around the country.

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