During 2018 and 2019, a discussion formed online around "yeehaw culture," a movement based around the forgotten history of black cowboys and cowgirls in old Western culture. What began as a silly meme song - a fusion of country and trap music, that was added to the "country" genre on Spotify - unwittingly put the formerly unknown Lil Nas X and "Old Town Road" at the center of the discussion, and the song caught fire quickly on the Billboard charts.
Controversy ensued when Billboard removed the song from their country charts, claiming it "does not embrace enough elements of todays country music to chart in its current version." In response, a remix with none other than Billy Ray Cyrus was made, and off the heels of many heated discussions of whether Billboard's decision was justified or not, it vastly increased the song's popularity. The song, and its remix, both wound up spending weeks at #1, famously holding Taylor Swift's comeback single, "ME!", from the top spot. At one minute and fifty-three seconds, the original version is Billboard's shortest number-one single since 1965.note It turned this young, genre-blending upstart into a bonafide phenomenon.
On June 30th, 2019, the last day of Pride Month, Lil Nas X came out of the closet on his Twitter page.
- Nasarati (2018)
- 7 (2019)
Yeahhhhhhh, I'm gonna take my horse, to the old town tropes...
- Ascended Meme: During the infamous "Storm Area 51" movement of summer 2019, a crowdfunding campaign sprung up asking for him to perform the song as marching music for the "invaders." Nas X embraced the joke with great enthusiasm, saying that he would gladly perform at Area 51 "for free."
- Country Rap: "Old Town Road" is a unique take on this.
- The Cameo: Chris Rock, Vince Staples, Young Kio, Rico Nasty and Diplo all have appearances in the "Old Town Road" official music video.
- Miniscule Rocking: None of the songs on 7 past 3 minutes.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Lil Nas X spends much of 7 blending all sorts of different sounds together. blink-182's Travis Barker even shows up to do some punk rock drumming on one track.
- Sampling: "Old Town Road" samples the Nine Inch Nails track "34 Ghosts VI," which bizarrely gives NIN's Trent Reznor a songwriting credit on the biggest hip-hop song of 2019.
- Panini samples Nirvana's "In Bloom."
- Shout-Out: His name is a combination of Lil Wayne, Nas and DMX.
- Straw Fan: "Panini" is about a fan who became displeased with Lil Nas X after he suddenly gained national fame and recognition.Lil Nas X: Ay, Panini
Don't you be a meanie
Thought you wanted me to go up
Why you tryna keep me teeny?
- Surreal Music Video: "Panini."
- Your Cheating Heart: Says it best in "Old Town Road"Lil Nas X: Cheated on my baby, You can go and ask her.