If you haven’t heard Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” (and all its remixes with a variety of amazing guest artists), then you’re either from another dimension or have been avoiding all mainstream media for the past year.
“Old Town Road” recently became the longest running number one song in Billboard Hot 100 history, beating out Luis Fonsi’s (featuring Justin Bieber_ “Despacito” before eventually dethroning Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day.”
While he’s on the cover of TIME Magazine now (check out the article “It’s His Country: The Wild Ride of Lil Nas X), the life of 20-year-old Lil Nas X – née Montero Lamar Hill – was incredibly different not too long ago. A graduate of Lithia Springs High School in Georgia, he went to University of West Georgia before dropping out and working at Zaxby’s and Six Flags.
He then started doing Facebook videos, then moved to Instagram, then Twitter, where he eventually amassed 2.9 million followers.
In late October 2018, he found the music that would become “Old Town Road” – a beat that he purchased anonymously online from a producer named YoungKio. The cost? $30.
He made about a hundred memes to promote the song, which samples Nine Inch Nails “34 Ghosts IV,” and it worked. The song came out in December of 2018 and then went viral in the first part of 2019 on TikTok before gaining steam and taking off into the massive hit that it is now.
And this short time frame of success hasn’t been without controversy; “Old Town Road” was removed from the Hot Country songs chart, stirring up a whirlwind of dissent.
And then Lil Nas X himself made waves when he came out as gay in June of 2019 – and he made history as the only artist to do so while having a number one hit.
Lil Nas X joins us in studio to talk about this crazy ride, working with a legend like Billy Ray Cyrus, what it’s like to have Lizzo cover his track, the stars he’s been most starstruck by, and the super sweet consideration he had for his sister when he decided to come out.