Lil Nas X, More Than Just A Hip Hop Cowboy | Nat Reviews

Lil Nas X, More Than Just A Hip Hop Cowboy | Nat Reviews

December 2, 2019 1 By Kailee Schamberger


Hello once again everyone and welcome back,
I am your host Nattie and this is Nat Reviews, the series where I take a look at a random
piece of media and give my thoughts on it. This week around, we are taking a look at
an EP, I know it’s not an album but I have felt a strong desire to cover the artist for
most of this year by now. Now that they have released an EP, I am able
to give more of a look into their work outside their debut hit. That artist being Lil Nas X and this is my
take on his EP, 7. Let’s begin. So, before we get into the tracks that come
on the EP, let’s talk about the artist behind them. Lil Nas X, born Montero Lamar Hill experienced
his parents divorcing while he was young and he lived in the projects of Atlanta. His eventual decision to move away he said
was an important one, stating: “There’s so much *expletive* going on in Atlanta—if I would
have stayed there, I would have fallen in with the wrong crowd.” He soon thereafter began getting heavily into
the internet as a form of escapism from his life and the troubles he faced in it. Through his teen years he struggled with coming
out, but as he grew up he began to slowly accept it as part of hisself. He only completed one year of university before
dropping out, he lived with his sister and took up various jobs in the area. It was at this same time he began trying to
grow his following on social medias, yet again as a form of escapism and also to help promote
his own work as an independent artist. He tried to find what his calling was, making
comedy sketches and a variety of other things before settling on music. This is when he created the hit most now know
as Old Town Road. I took a look at that song in particular earlier
this year, you can find my review of it in the cards and in the description of the video
below. He recorded the song at a humble Atlanta studio
during a cheap day and began making videos on his social media’s to promote it. I admire him for his work in promoting himself,
showing what many independent artists have to do when they don’t have large label backing. Eventually, Old Town Road blew up in popularity
over many months, becoming the worldwide smash we all know it as today. Due to the song’s enormous success, Columbia
Records picked him up and he soon began working on what we’re looking at today, his 7 EP. Now, the EP likely gets it’s name from the
7 unique tracks on the EP (With there being two Old Town Road’s on the EP). He avoided making a album full of country
rap to avoid being pigeonholed by OTR, instead opting for a more creative and diverse mix
of music, ranging from hip hop, to pop, to rock, hard rock, and alt rock. Straying far away from being just another
“trap artist” as he put it. So with all the origins out of the way, let’s
finally dive on in to the actual music on the EP, shall we? Alright, so we begin with the breakout hit
itself. I have already reviewed it before as mentioned,
but I shall give a brief run down of what the song is like here. You can find my thoughts of it in the video
I made. But yes, the song is a country rap song featuring
country music musician Billy Ray Cyrus giving additional vocals to Lil Nas X’s original
song as a form of solidarity with LNX back when the controversy that surrounded this
song was blowing up. The song talks about many various things and
themes, the full extent of which I discussed before. LNX delivers some of his own life experiences
in hints throughout the song while also delivering a satire of both country music and rap music,
it’s a perfect cocophany of influences mixed masterfully into a singular song. Now we get to the next large single off the
EP, Panini. The song references the fictional character
Panini from the show Chowder, a show both Lil Nas X and I grew up with and saw on the
television. The song itself is a trap hip hop song but
it delivers a fresh take on it. The song is a letter to his old fans who loved
him when he was smaller, but as the spotlight grew on him they started to turn away from
him. He doesnt speak down to them but instead wants
them to know he cares for them and would like them to come back. The video has a sweet ending to it as well,
you can find it and the other videos I mention in the description below. But in the video, Lil Nas X is the face of
many futuristic products and this is an allegory for his sudden stardom as the woman in the
video acts in anger, trying to find ways to ignore him but in a metaphor for how inescapable
OTR was, he appears throughout and anywhere she goes. He still trying to get across his message
to them throughout, and in the end he turns the advertisements into virtual beauty, showing
that underneath all the popularity he is still the same artist beneath. Which I find a very nice message, and he was
able to get that across in under three minutes. Something that may come as a surprise to you
is that this song samples Nirvana’s song In Bloom. Lil Nas X had never heard the album before
releasing the song, the beat having been made by the producer Take A Daytrip. He got permission to use the sample the day
the song was released. I found this to be an interesting little fact. But I will note, I do rather enjoy this song,
it’s nice and pleasant to listen too, it’s not too obnoxious, it has a slick production
and the hook is great. It is a letter to his old fans and I like
that he isnt overly harsh with them as other musicians have done. There is also a version featuring DaBaby,
they even made a video for the song with this remix in mind as they made the video animated
like Chowder the actual show. The creator of Chowder even praised the video,
and I must say, I did too, it felt nice having that nostalgia come back for that show and
then seeing some people lovingly make a work based off it. Next on the docket, we have the next song
on the EP, called F9mily (You & Me). It is a pop punk song featuring the talents
of Travis Barker of blink-182 fame. It isn’t a rap song in any way but instead
is quite the bop, having a high energetic feel as pop punk has the tendency to deliver. It feels almost aquatic in the sonic feels
of the song, especially during the bridge. the song’s message is drawn from Lil Nas X’s
own life in how his parents divorced while he was young and how he is drawing from those
experiences to try fixing his current relationship. Knowing how rough it is to have his family
split apart, he wants to keep the relationship going, knowing it is not yet too long gone
to fix. This isn’t his first foray into mentioning
this side of his past, referencing it on his 2018 track, Carry On. But yes, I find this song itself to be a rather
catchy number that is nice and upbeat, full of energy as a couple experiencing fraying
would. I rather like the way the vocals sound throughout
the songs thus far, there are some nice sonic experiences throughout. Definitely recommend if interested. Next up we have a darker toned song that matches
in it’s production and tone that is also chill at the same time. The song is a more traditionally rap number
that shows off LNX’s skills at rapping while also having modern alternate rock influences. The song tells of Lil Nas X noticing after
his rise in fame how many others try to come to him, asking him for favors, claiming to
be good friends of his even though they had drifted apart long before his rise to fame. It tells from the perspective of the fake
friend and how when LNX turns them down for their advances, they start to throw dirt on
his name and doubting his credibility as an artist after moments before pretending to
praise LNX. The song also features references to LNX’s
rise to fame, the fake friend knows of these and is trying to get a piece of it for themselves. The other side of the coin is the weed references
and how the fake friend keeps trying to sell it to Lil Nas X. This calls back to me to how Lil Nas X told
of how he’d end up with the bad scene if he stuck around where he had been, so those references
here to me symbolize how LNX sees through this person and is able to tell they mean
nothing to him. He has moved on from these toxic people in
his life and now is on his way up and growing past them, growing to be a stronger and more
mature adult. The production values are once again high
and I find it very smooth flowing and even includes a great but brief instrumental break
inside it. The song is short, like all songs on this
EP, but LNX is able to really push the boundaries of such short timings, able to make some very
good music as shown here in this song not feeling as short as it is. Do check this song out if you do desire. The
next song we come up upon is another country rap song, this time featuring Cardi B. It
is vocally delivered similarly to Old Town Road, perhaps this acting as a sequel considering
it’s themes. With LNX’s rise to fame, he is finding that
his partner has grown more and more dependent on him and that he finds keeping the relationship
together is a necessity even as that fame is weighing more and more onto it. Cardi B’s verse is about fidelity and I feel
in all honestly it doesn’t really fit the rest of the song, it is overly aggressive
compared to the more tame LNX’s verses. It doesnt really fit to me and this is my
first time listening to anything by Cardi B. I do rather like the instrumental backing,
it has some surf influences and some westerny feelings. It is interesting sounding but too similar
to OTR, it feels like Columbia was trying to remake Old Town Road personally, and I
don’t think it worked really. While interesting sonically, the actual song
itself doesnt exactly work for me, it feels much more a album track than a single. My favourite parts of it is the instrumental
and the choruses and outro especially, they work the best and sound like a desert mirage. Lil Nas X’s verses do match the instrumentals
very well, really adding to the mirage feel when the choruses come in. But yes, the song feels partly unfinished
and slightly rushed, it almost works in places however. A tentative “take a listen if you wish” from
me at best. After Rodeo comes Bring U Down, a song that
features OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, who also wrote it too. The song is a short number but it is a very
grunge/alt-rock number and it shows once again Lil Nas X’s ability to do various genres. The song is yet another catchy number and
how theres people who try to tear him down when he was on his rise, from the perspective
of the one trying to tear him down. It makes me a bit sad how great the song sounds
since it shows Ryan Tedder still has a lot of talent in production and also in making
great rock hits (he even plays the instruments you hear on the song), but he isnt often able
to showcase that in his band OneRepublic these days. But I am glad that he and Nas were able to
get together and make this, it shows there is still talent in there. The song is very great productionwise and
yet again, very catchy. It really flows well for me and shows off
Nas’s talents and how diverse he can be. The song’s modern production and musical values
mixes perfectly with the more classic grunge sounds, making a perfect storm of sound for
the current callbacks to the 90s, while also managing to make something new on their own
and creatively so. Coming of the higher energy of Bring U Down,
comes the slightly slower and still as chill song musically in C7osure (You Like). The whistling in the song is reminiscent of
Panini and perhaps tells of the two songs being linked together. The song is more laid back in it’s production
and I do rather enjoy it’s more rap & rock vibes. His flow is very good and his singing in the
choruses is very emotionally moving, it is very good. Significantly, Lil Nas X spoke of this song
in particular right as Pride Month came to an end, telling fans to listen closely to
it as he revealed his coming out to the wide world. The link of his personal tales of coming out
and this song link rather well and perhaps tell of this song being Lil Nas X’s way of
coming out and telling his fans of his experiences. The sole verse in the song really hammers
home this point in how LNX knows that while coming out now may seem like a bad move to
him and he is worried how it’ll go, he knows in the future he’ll look back and be glad
he has come out afterall, so he can be his true self rather than live a lie. I find it very great that he had the courage
to do this, he gets my respect for that and I am glad he felt able to come out as he did. He knows the news may drive some of his fans
away, but he knows what truly matters is his happiness, the ones that stay are his true
friends and family and fans. This song I highly recommend and it is perhaps
one of my faves off the entire EP. Finally, this song, is the original version
of the big hit, and it was this version in particular I took a look back at earlier this
year. That video, as mentioned before, is linked
in the description and in the cards if you wish to know my full thoughts on it. But yes, with that comes the end of the EP! So let us slide on down to my conclusions
about this EP. Conclusion So, what are my overall thoughts on the EP? Well, my thoughts of the EP overall are all
over the place honestly, each song is a completely different experience from eachother. It is not something you can really compare
to other things as a whole since it’s so diverse, so it gets bonus points from me there in how
it so creatively was able to branch out and do more than just one genre and more than
one theme. I do very much enjoy his wide vocal range
and abilities, he is able to do more than just rap, he is able to sing in different
tones well and is able to go to different genres so flawlessly. The overarching theme of the album is generally
in how Lil Nas X is simultaneously telling his life story, talking about his rise to
fame and also his current life experiences so perfectly. Most the songs work very well and I would
recommend most of them (aside Rodeo). The rest of the EP I find to work very good. The production is different on each song as
different producers were brought in for each of them. The whole EP works as a lesson to not judge
a book by it’s cover. I think the various styles and genres blend
very well together to make a very interesting EP. Definitely gets a solid A from me, aside Rodeo
it’s a A+ from me. I definitely think you should check this EP
out. The highlights for me are C7osure, Bring U
Down, F9mily, and Kick It. Do I Anticipate More From The Artist? Well, I will answer that simply with a “Most
certainly!”. I for one am a huge fan of Lil Nas X and I
admire his story coming up and shaking music in 2019 to it’s core, creating one of the
largest smash hits ever yet made. He came up from relatively nowhere to become
one of the biggest names in music as of the present. He has maintained a cool personality and a
classy behavior I admire. He is also a wonderful presence in the world
of music. He has a great taste for fashion and instead
of the stereotypical rapper persona, he is his own person. He may no longer be an indie artist, but he
still maintains a great level of creativity and is able to breathe new life into music,
especially of many various genre’s. He brings his unique experience and creativity
into his work and I am proud of him for following music as he has, bringing some unconventional
methods into his music. I look forward to seeing what he makes into
the future and I certainly am interested in seeing what a full length album from him could
be like. Do look more into him if you so desire, he
has a fascinating story to him and I hope more good people like him get the spotlight,
especially in these trying times. With that, I do believe this brings us to
the end of our time together this week, I do hope you enjoyed yourself and perhaps you
learned something about Lil Nas X that you hadn’t before. He is far more than just a “meme”, and I hope
my video here serves as an introduction to him for the curious. Let me know what you thought of the video
and/or Lil Nas X himself down in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts. If you would like to see more of my future
work, feel free to Subscribe and all the other lovely things you’ve heard a million times
over from every YouTube content creator out there. I have been your host Nattie and I wish you
well on your adventure pardners, for now i’m afraid that I must vamoose, yeehaw.