• Frank Tremain

Review | Lil Nas X - 7 EP

The controversial Lil Nas X, who found quick fame through his no. 1 hit record “Old Town Road”, finds himself stumbling to find the same success in his 7 EP.

Earlier this year, Lil Nas X grew to incredible virality after releasing “Old Town Road”, a country/rap hybrid that saw its initial popularity on TikTok before reaching the Hot 100 charts. Billboard shortly removed the song from their Country charts, deeming that it did not “embrace enough elements of today’s country music.” After the large debate on social media, as well as a controversial remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, the song reached to the No. 1 spot and 11 weeks later, continues to hold that title, being tied for the fifth-longest running No. 1 hit ever.

The 20-year-old Atlanta-based artist has now released his debut 7 EP with six new songs sandwiched between his two successes, the remixed version of “Old Town Road” and the original, leaving the EP running at just over 18-minutes long. With such a short run time, it really questions the need to include both versions of the smash hit, especially considering the song has been hard enough to avoid. The short run time continues to negatively impact the project with the second single “Panini”, falling short of just 2 minutes. That being said, the smooth influence of Trap and Rock, evident in the interpolation of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” during the chorus, admittedly gives the catchy song a hopeful hint to what Lil Nas X can offer.

The rock influence continues with the help of Blink 182 drummer, Travis Barker, who features on “F9mily (You & Me)”. This track and “Kick It” present a key issue with the 7 EP, with the instrumentals being enjoyable and easily digestible, but lyrically, Lil Nas X continues a bland and repetitive style that fails to live up to the fun of the artist's first hit. Although the use of saxophone on “Kick It” is really suave and definitely redeems some of the duller moments of the track, it still lacks in many areas. Thankfully, Lil Nas X doesn’t spend the whole project working to replicate the magic of “Old Town Road”, although he does continue the country theme with “Rodeo”. This features Cardi B, who doesn’t lessen the overall song, but fails to add anything noteworthy and demonstrates that the song is an unsuccessful attempt to imitate its predecessor. “Bring U Down” shares similarities to “F9mily (You & Me)”, in the respect that they both sound like basic teenage rock songs that offer nothing significant to the artist's small discography. “C7osure (You Like)” can be summed up the same way the rest of the EP can be – it hints that Lil Nas X has potential to be more than a one hit wonder and one of rap’s largest memes, however, it’s littered with underwhelming lyricism and a general overwhelming blandness.

Much like the EP's run time, the highlights are short lived. Somehow, it still manages to exceed expectations and give hope that perhaps there is more to be heard from the young up-and-comer. Beyond that, the success of "Old Town Road" and its continual internet dominance will be remembered as one of the oddest moments in the internet age of music.

Best songs: Panini, Old Town Road - Remix (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)

Worst song: Rodeo (feat. Cardi B)


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