April 25, 2024

Lil Nas X’s Most Streamed Songs

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American rapper, singer, and songwriter Lil Nas X (Montero Lamar Hill) has solidified himself as one of the biggest artists in the world over the past three years. Before his sudden rise to fame, he had dropped out of college to pursue a career in music. At 19 years old, he was working at Six Flags and Zaxby’s, spending all of his spare time curating beats and verses in his room. The Georgia-born icon first blew up off of country rap banger “Old Town Road” in 2019. He would follow-up the hit single with the “7 EP,” before eventually releasing his debut full-length record, ‘Montero,’ in 2021.

Whether it be his fashion or his stage presence, Lil Nas has since proved that he can be alluring as a personality rather than solely for his music. One of the most in-demand touring artists out, his stage presence is up there with the likes of Tyler, the Creator or J Cole. His music videos have stirred up a fair bit of controversy, which usually means you’re doing something right. “Montero (Call Me By Your Name. Growing up on the Internet, the marketing genius has a knack for creating hits. In his short career, he already has over three tracks that have surpassed 1 billion streams.

Approaching 2 years since ‘Montero,’ the flamboyant MC hasn’t teased much about his new project. However, he’s confirmed that it will be releasing in 2023. Responding to fans on Twitter, he said that his new album will “most likely” be out this summer.

Today, we’re diving into the star-powered MC’s most streamed tracks.

Old Town Road- Lil Nas X (Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus)

A unique blend of country and trap, we may never hear as controversial and iconic as chart-topping song as “Old Town Road” ever again. The track lived at the mountain-top of the Billboard charts for a record-breaking 19 weeks, before Billie Eilish would finally dethrone him. Shockingly, “Old Town Road” was the first full song that Lil Nas ever put out. Overplayed throughout 2019 and 2020, the track sounds downright silly today. However, it’s a genuinely fantastic mix of acoustic strings and base-filled 808s.

When you blend the original and remix version, this song alone has amassed over 2 billion streams on Spotify. In fact, Lil Nas created the song with the vision of it being a hit. Purposely architecting the track amongst catchy lyrics, he wanted the track to be inherently ear-catching. Ushering in Billy Ray Cyrus for the first of many oddball remixes, the music video would amass over 1 billion views on YouTube.

Panini

Lil Nas X followed up “Old Town Road” with yet another hit single in the form of “Panini.” Similar to his debut track, it’s a 2-minute cut with a repetitive chorus that’s easy to grasp onto and yell out. Nominated for Best Rap Performance at the 2020 Grammys, the track solidified him as more than a one-hit wonder. Sampling Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” the chorus is an interpolation from the iconic Kurt Cobain.

Lil Nas would later release a remix of the track with DaBaby to capitalize on the virality of the song. “Panini” sees him branch out from his country-rap connotations, shooting for more of a traditional, trendy trap sound. There’s a definite Travis Scott or Drake influence in the production, as hi-hat whistles and a heavy 808 make their way into the mix. Far more synth-driven in comparison to “Old Town Road,” the track would keep fans guessing about what is EP would sound like.

Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

The lead single of Lil Nas X’s rollout for ‘Montero,’ the 2-minute banger features tantalizing chords and Latin undertones. Featuring Flamengo flairs and lush production, it’s a simple but effective track. Featuring sexually explicit homosexual lyrics, Lil Nas is bold about his sexuality. The song has amassed over 1.6 billion streams on Spotify. Tagged along with a boldly queer music video, the song was met with backlash from conservative detractors, who labeled the music video as harmful or immoral. However, they’re only playing into Lil Nas’s purposefully contentious narrative.

The track directly references ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ a 2007 book that was later adapted to the screen in 2017. The film takes the viewer through the complexities of a gay romance in Northern Italy, as the two struggle to open up during a time where homosexuality was largely demonized. The movie’s plot outlines the song’s lyricism, as Lil Nas states “I wanna sell what you’re buying.”

Industry Baby- Lil Nas X (Ft. Jack Harlow)

Featuring co-production chops from Kanye West, ‘Industry Baby’ is the hallmark banger off of his most recent album. An expertly crafted rap anthem, the track was nominated for Best Melodic Rap Performance at the 2021 Grammys. Sampling orchestral production, there’s a school band feel to the booming horns that kick off the track. A self-proclaimed Nicki Minaj stan, Lil Nas X was ghosted from Nicki Minaj when he reached out for a feature.

While much of the record’s subject matter sees Lil Nas discuss feelings of depression or loneliness that’s only expedited with fame, ‘Industry Baby’ is a fun exception to this. Referencing his Grammy nominations and heavy bank account, Lil Nas and Jack Harlow are flexing from start to finish. Speaking of Harlow, the Louisville-born MC delivered his best feature verse to date on the track. Two hard-working rappers who made it from nothing, the chart-topping track is a triumphant ode to their current fame.

That’s What I Want

Growing up in an era of unforgiving love-pop songs, “That’s What I Want” feels like a direct result of a kid who grew up listening to the latter era of OutKast. Featuring a more traditional pop-rock structure, it’s hard not to reminisce about songs such as “Hey Ya!” amongst romantic guitar strings and swirling synth patterns. Yet another chart-topping song for Lil Nas X, the track made him the first artist to have three tracks simultaneously in the Billboard Top-10.

The track continued to showcase him as a visual icon rather than solely a musical one. Lil Nas falls in love with a boy at a football game before later realizing that’s married. The track narratively contributes to his feelings of isolation that he associates with his homosexuality. The cowboy theme of the video is a direct reference to 2005 film ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ In the film, two gay lovers never unite due to one’s fear of being judged.

Holiday

Intended to fill the gap between his ‘7 EP’ and ‘Montero,’ “Holiday” is a Christmas-themed track that released in November of 2020. Peaking at the 25th ranked track on the Billboard Top 100, the song has since approached 500 million streams on Spotify. A celebratory track, he’s tongue and cheek with multiple hilarious bars. In addition, he continued to be creative on the visual end of things. The music video sees Lil Nas X dressed as a futuristic version of Santa Claus, existing in a cyberpunk Arctic world.

Lil Nas plays around with his songwriting on the track, stating “Hee hee! I’m bad as Michael Jackson” amongst a traditionally structured trap banger. With Tay Keith on production chops, smooth synths and direct drums populate the track. There’s a more melodic, laid-back feel to embrace the holiday aesthetic. It was a simple, but effective track that kept fans satisfied before his full-length project.

Star Walkin’

The most recent single from Lil Nas X, “Star Walkin’” is tagged to the League of Legends brand. There’s a definite overly-glossed, big budget feel to the production on the track. With hints of EDM and drill, it’s an effective banger to cater to his younger audience. The headline track for the League of Legends World Championship, the track has amassed over 250 million streams on Spotify over the past six months.

Lil Nas delivered a live performance of the track back in the November, clothed a slick white and gold outfit. Dancing from verse to chorus, it’s one of his more impressive lives performances to date. In addition, the track highlights Lil Nas’s business savvy and Internet personality. He knows how to capitalize on trends, which will solidify him as an industry-wide name for years to come.



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