Blake Beats: The Rise of Lil Nas X

By: Anthony Dougherty

If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve heard of Lil Nas X, the artist behind the catchy single, “Old Town Road.” The song grabbed attention through viral memes, its addictiveness, and constant radio play. “Old Town Road” became the anthem of the summer as it topped charts across the nation, including The Billboard 100

The 20-year-old rapper and singer, Montero Lamar Hill (Lil Nas X) was born in a small town in Georgia, and was relatively unknown before his hit single flooded viral Tik Tok videos, music charts, and radio stations.

Many thought after “OTR”, Lil Nas X would fall off or lose popularity, yet he’s been proving them wrong. With his seven-track EP, the rapper shows versatility and an ability to make addictive and unforgettable songs, like Panini which he teased on Instagram.  Instantly, fans demanded he release the song, and “Panini” was later dropped on his EP “7”. The production on this EP is upbeat and, in general, fun to listen to. The melodic yet simple trap beats flow smoothly with Hill’s heavy voice. “7” was released in late June with around 77,000 units sold the first week proving that he was here to stay.

Hill bravely came out as queer on his EP on the track “Closure (You Like).”” He later posted on Twitter, confirming it. This also sparked talk around his name, and his Instagram posts shortly became filled with both supportive and hateful comments. He quickly shut down the negative comments by using jokes to enlighten the situation with humor instead of retaliation.

Most artists express how making it big in the music industry is difficult; it takes dedication and perseverance. You have to stand out, whether you’re simply being yourself, or following the popular trends. But, what makes Lil Nas X stand out? Clearly, he made himself popular with “OTR.” What exactly makes his other music so special? It’s his ability to make a song that becomes engraved in people’s minds, such as “OTR” and “Panini.” He is able to shut down the constant hate and continue to be himself and make solid music.

 There is no doubt that becoming a successful musician takes hard work and endless dedication, but a big part of it is staying in the spotlight while giving fans and supporters what they want. The rapper did just that. He took time to make the type of music that his fans were anticipating, which is captivating, playful trap. Staying popular in the rap industry is difficult. In all, it is clear that Lil Nas X has what it takes to stay relevant in the music industry, and has the potential to break records once again.