6 Things To Know About Lil Nas X
You won't believe how much he paid for the beat to his Grammy-winning tune.
May 25, 2022 at 3:56 pm
There was once a time when “Old Town Road” was habitually stuck in our heads. From the catchy flow to the equally fun lyrics, talk about a phenomenal debut single for Lil Nas X. The Georgia-born performer’s celebrity has only increased from there, and now we are all witnesses to his greatness. He’s only 23, so of course, we’re looking at hopefully decades to come of the hip-hop/country/pop entertainer. But if your knowledge of Nas is only because of his many viral moments, read on. There’s a lot more to the “Industry Baby” rapper than a Billboard No. 1 single.
1. He purchased the beat for "Old Town Road" for $30
Thirty dollars can buy you a meal, a new shirt and in Lil Nas X’s case, a number one song. According to a 2019 ABC News article, the Grammy winner bought the now-classic beat for $30 in November 2018 from YoungKio, a Netherlands-based music producer.
YoungKio went on to tell the outlet he originally got the beat from a Nine Inch Nails sample.
“It gave me this nostalgic feeling,” the then 19-year-old said. “I thought, the composition is so great, I have to do something with it, so I used the sample. I started playing with it, chopping it up.”
Money well spent for Nas, it appears.
2. Before dropping out of college, he was studying computer science
A Georgia native, Lil Nas X enrolled at the University of West Georgia to study computer science. After deciding college wasn’t his speed and he preferred to focus on writing songs, he dropped out to focus on his budding music career.
According to Rolling Stone, he then moved in with his sister and lived off the funds he earned from being a cashier at the fast-food chain Zaxby’s.
3. Aspirations past singing and rapping
Now that he’s cemented himself in the music industry, why not make a play in the acting world? Per an interview he did with Variety, the “Panini” singer said he’d like to one day act. Lil Nas X even admitted to turning down a role in a popular HBO series because he didn’t feel prepared.
“I was actually going to do Euphoria, but I didn’t want to take time away from finishing my album,” Nas said in 2021. “I definitely want to get into acting, but I feel I have to give it my all, and I want to focus on music for right now. I want my first movie to be amazing.”
4. The video for "Montero" brought him and his father closer
Before publicly coming out to the world in June 2019, Lil Nas X decided to tell his family first. His debut album Montero was met with mixed reviews due to the nature of the lead single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The visual included parts of Nas performing for Satan, and it drew criticism from conservative crowds.
Variety reports the video has amassed 315 million views on YouTube, and the project helped bring him and his father, a gospel singer, together.
“People were definitely talking to him online,” the 22-year-old said. “But I feel like after the [controversial] videos is when my dad became the most supportive of me. Before that, it was something we never really talked about. But after he gave it some time, he believed in me even more. I mean, it wasn’t that reaction when he first [saw the video]. But you know, we got there!”
5. He allegedly once ran a Nicki Minaj stan account
There are a plethora of stan accounts for the biggest stars in the industry, but it’s rare we find out the owners of said profiles. An April 2019 New York magazine investigation revealed Nas once ran a popular Nicki Minaj stan account on Twitter called @nasmaraj.
However, the article went on to retract the original claim, citing multiple sources that said Nas in fact was not the individual behind the now-suspended account.
In a previous Blavity story, Nas’ older brother did acknowledge he is a Barb, even advocating for a collab between the two megastars.
— really wasnt rooting for us anyway (@BigBroSleepyX) February 2, 2022
6. He's receiving a monumental award this year
Though his reign in entertainment hasn’t been for long, Nas is set to take home another honor. According to Billboard, he will receive the Hal David Starlight Award at the 2022 Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) gala in New York on June 16. Outside of Drake, Nas is the only other songwriter affiliated with hip-hop that will be presented with this distinction.
“Lil Nas X… has perhaps better than anyone demonstrated how powerful great songs are with ‘Old Town Road’ and ‘Montero’ dominating the charts for almost every day of the last three years,” SHOF chair Nile Rodgers said in a statement. “If you’re lucky enough to be alive at this time, you know exactly who Lil Nas X is and he’s an incredible and inspirational person for every one of his communities as well.”
As someone who grew up on the Internet, it’s no shock Lil Nas X has perfected being an Internet star while remaining relatable to millions of fans in the process. As he sets out on his first worldwide tour this fall, we can only imagine how he’ll continue to keep fans guessing with each move.