We’ve all heard this story before. Young artist makes a song and using the power of social media, it becomes the biggest track yet. Sheck Wes’s “Mo Bamba”, Cali District’s “Teach Me How To Dougie”, Shop Boyz’s “Party Like A Rock Star”, I could go on and on but the idea of a “One Hit Wonder” crosses genres and eras. This spring, “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X went from a meme on TikTok to topping the Billboard Charts (still) for 12 weeks. This meteoric rise of the 20 year old rapper out of Atlanta was truly the last thing anyone expected and it was fueled by a song that blended country music with an ATL-sounding trap beat. After all his teasing and trolling, Lil Nas X finally dropped his debut project titled 7 EP, which is truly everything that represents the rapper’s rise to fame. Since it is only eight tracks – yes…I am just as confused as you why it’s eight and not seven – I will be switching up the structure of this review, taking a look at each song individually.
Old Town Road (Remix):
I am still curious to see if he will drop this “Remix” album. I don’t think it will happen but who cares because this song will be on the Billboard Top 100 for weeks and weeks to come. It is pretty obvious at this point that this version, even though it’s a “remix”, is the main one. He just recently performed it with Billy Ray at the BET Awards and killed it. Even all these months later, I still feel like this track is a banger. Not only is the music video for it amazing but it has changed the way people look at cross culture tracks. Country vocals over hip hop beats are gaining traction and it wouldn’t shock me if we start to see a sub-genre begin to blossom for a bit. Everything is a trend though and as much as I love the song, I know it doesn’t have the potential to be something that will last for years and years and years to come.
Easily the most anticipated song on this EP, but I truly don’t see the hype around it. It’s good and catchy but it really just isn’t that great. Also, I have ranted about this before and I will say it again…streaming is slowly killing track lengths. Under two minutes is not really a full song and it’s designed like that to maximize streams.
F9mily (You & Me):
The third piece on the record feels very late 90s, early 00s inspired punk rock. It truly doesn’t fit the album in the slightest. Look, I understand what he was trying to do here but like…eh. Feels more like something that would fit in a Disney movie about summer camp with a bunch of wannabe rock stars – Camp Rock?
I know a lot of people aren’t fans of “Kick It” but I kind of like it. The lyrics are pretty simple and Lil Nas doesn’t really push his vocals very far, staying extremely monotone, but the beat is solid. I love the horns in the back of the beat here. Honestly, this is one of the most fitting tracks to his vibe I feel. When he seems to rap, similar to on “C7osure (You Like)”, it’s just chilled out.
This song is what I was honestly expecting more of off 7 EP. This track literally sounds like country and rap were thrown into a blender as what was poured out is a post-“Old Town Road” sound. He sings in a very bravado voice with a very “Cowboy”. Then all of a sudden, Cardi B hops on and kills her verse. It’s honestly amazing to think this is where music is in 2019. If you asked me at the end of last year what was going to get really big in 2019, I would have never expected Cardi B to get featured on a country song. I’m not even going to attempt to make a prediction about next year yet.
Bring U Down:
Lame and boring. Yeah this track is trash.
C7osure (You Like):
As I mentioned earlier, I actually really like this side of Lil Nas X. It’s really vibey and doesn’t seem to fit one genre or another. It’s quite unique. “C7osure (You Like)” as a track is pretty bland, however, I can appreciate what he was going for here. Hopefully, this is something we will get to see more of in the future.
Old Town Road:
This really shouldn’t have been on here at all. Look I get it…this is the song that made him famous. But still, it’s too short and feels like it was added just to add on. Keep it as a single and let the remix on the album. There is nothing wrong with the original; I sang its praises talking about the remix. I just don’t think there was any reason to include it on here twice. It doesn’t add any value in my opinion…just kind of there.
I’m not including the essentials because it’s pretty clear which tracks were good and which were bad. Instead, let’s discuss what you are all here for…the rating. I understand what Lil Nas X was attempting to do with this album. He created an album that fits his trolling ways while attempting to break down the barriers of multiple genres. It just didn’t do it for me. Each track has its pros and cons individually but altogether, it makes zero sense. I’m sure there are some people out there who truly enjoyed listening to this album but I am not one of them. My first listen through, I thought “Okay, this kinda is cool” but after my third and fourth listens, I was just bored and unimpressed. With that all said, 7 EP is without a question a…
I really hope whatever he releases next is way more focused. This kid has talent, both in making music and creating a buzz around him. But if he doesn’t focus on developing his own sub-genre of Country Trap, he will always be looked at as a one-hit-wonder.