Song of the Summer

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

Hats off to Lil Nas X. Cowboy hats, that is.

With his debut EP, the Atlanta native let the world know that “Old Town Road” was not a one-hit wonder. Yes, the smash of all smashes remains #1 for its 12th week straight, but there is some solid stuff on this release!

“Old Town Road” is undoubtedly the song of the summer. It’s a lot of fun. It’s different and it blurs lines. Lil Nas X had a vision for this track and defied the odds, breaking through despite buying the beat for $30 off of a website called BeatStars.

The EP, 7, is stronger than you might think. It manages to reflect the cultural moment that initially launched him while still taking risks. He blends alt-rock, pop, rap, country, and trap. He leveraged his momentum to collab with heavy hitters like Cardi B, Ryan Tedder, and Travis Barker, but had the wherewithal to get beats from buzzy young producers Take A Daytrip, who produced the platinum breakouts for Sheck Wes and JUICE Wrld.

I loved the “Old Town Road” performance at the BET Awards with Billy Ray Cyrus. The set was a saloon, they rode in on horses, and they mixed in a country jig. After the awards, “Old Town Road” became the longest-running Hot 100 #1 hip-hop single of all time, tying “Boom Boom Pow”. Beyond this, it is easy to see the song’s impact culturally, as there were a bunch of wannabe Lil Nas Xs walking around the crowd.

It’s amazing to see a new artist defy genres and culture. The newest crop of artists seems hellbent on this approach and I am so, so here for it. Plus, who are we kidding? It’s flat out fun to wear cowboy boots and square dance in a night club. I don’t know about you, but whether he’s here for a good time or a long time, I’m down to ride until I can’t no more.