I didn’t intend on reviewing Lil Nas X‘s new EP 7. But besides the site need content, the kid with the cowboy hat kinda intrigued me. Nas X (probably) has the biggest song of 2019 and I’m curious how this whole thing will play out. So listening to this project was a must. What can a young Black kid who does country rap music, former owner of a Nicki Minaj Twitter account, and Billboard country music chart reject bring to the table with a full(ish) project? Let’s check out Lil Nas X’s 7.
1. Old Town Road (Remix)
Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus; Produced by Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor, & YoungKio
If you found this website, you know about this song. This may technically be the remix (the O.G. version is a bonus track) but it was this version with Billy Ray Cyrus pushed Lil Nas X from Red Dead Redemption visuals to another level. He went from an internet troll (maybe) to a kid who wore cowboy hats and performs across the country. That’s not a diss.
Produced by Dot Da Genius & Take A Daytrip
This is basically the world’s first listen to a non-country rap song from Lil Nas X. Over a slow R&B/pop beat, he is either singing to a lover or his new fanbase that doesn’t want him to prosper and evolve. Take what you will but the whole thing is catchy as hell. And before the whistling can get annoying (a Lil Nas X trademark you’ll here more on this project) it’s over as this song isn’t even two minutes. It may throw some people off but I actually like it.
Last random fact: “Panini” interpolates parts of Nirvana’s “In Bloom.” Okay.
3. F9mily (You & Me)
Produced by Travis Barker
“F9mily” is a straight pop-punk song. I’ll admit that my knowledge of pop-punk as a genre is limited but it feels like Nas X pulls it off. Not to the point that I’ll play this in my car later or anything, but if like something that would be on a video game soundtrack and I wouldn’t be made that it came on (If that makes sense).
4. Kick It
Produced by Thomas Cullison, Lil Nas X, Bizness Boi, FWDSLXSH, & BoyBand
Here Lil Nas X deal with his newfound fame and people trying to hang out with him because of it. It has him singing/rapping which I’m guessing is his style at this point. It’s another quick and catchy affair and while I think the production does most of the heavy lifting (We needs more saxophone in Hip-Hop), I think Nas turned in a serviceable performance.
Featuring Cardi B; Produced by Russ Chell, Roy Lenzo, & Take A Daytrip
I was gonna say that “If you been waiting on another country rap song, “Rodeo” is it.” But I think it’s mostly a rap song that samples country elements with Lil Nas X once again uses a twang with a regular verse from Bardi. And it kinda all works. It won’t be another “Old Town Road” but it should hit with the music video drops.
6. Bring U Down
Produced by Zach Skelton & Ryan Tedder
“Bring U Down” is another foray in the rock.pop-punk arena. It’s mostly Nas X singing “I don’t know what’s gonna bring you down” but I can’t say I hated it. It’s not a “skip” more like an “okay.”.
7. C7osure (You Like)
Produced by Allen Ritter & Boi-1da
This may sound weird, but this feels like something that Drake would do, from the hook to the way Nas X sing some of the lyrics. The Boi-1da piano-heavy production only adds to this. But here’s the thing, I liked “C7osure (You Like)”, to the point that I let it play a few times (That hook is crazy). Lil Nas X ends off on a strong note.
I’m not gonna lie. I was ready to shit on this project. It was gonna be extremely easy to categorize Lil Nas X as just another one hit wonder from the internet (And he still may be that. There’s still time). But I was surprised at how much I actually liked 7.
Every song is very well produced and there isn’t a track that is garbage or truly a hard skip. The brevity of the project may also work in Lil Nas X’s favor as 7 doesn’t keep you long as the entire thing is under twenty minutes long.
Everything is not perfect in Old Town Road though. Songs under two minutes are okay but I’m not sure if it gives you times to find or connect with Lil Nas X or find out who he really is. Also, him tackling a few genres on this project is admirable, but besides country trap, he doesn’t really do anything new or notable for rock, punk, or pop.
In all, Lil Nas X did the unexpected and actually may have a career after his hit song’s popularity subsides. At the very least he at least, he deserves another look after he stops wearing cowboy hats. Yeehaw.