The Influence of “Old Town Road”

How One Man Rose to Fame and Became an Icon for All


Lil Nas X has dramatically risen to fame, thanks to his collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus on "Old Town Road"

When Lil Nas X released his single “Old Town Road” no one knew the Earth would shake as much as it did. “Old Town Road” came out Dec. 3, 2018 and since then four official remixes have been released. Lil Nas X collaborated with the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, Young Thug, Mason Ramsey and RM of BTS.

Lil Nas X wrote “Old Town Road” almost as a coping mechanism. Before this, his music wasn’t going anywhere, his parents didn’t believe that he could be successful creating music and he was living with his sister. He wrote this song as a sign of strength.

The most popular version of the song is “Old Town Road (ft. Billy Ray Cyrus) [Remix],” a song that would go on to top the Billboard Hot 100 for 18 weeks straight and beat the previous record of “Despacito” and “One Sweet Day” by two weeks.

“I like how he breaks stereotypes, especially as a black male in America where it’s harder for them to come out” Santina Jester, freshman, said. Lil Nas X came out as gay on June 30, 2019 in a tweet that has more than 557 thousand likes so far. 

“I think it’s super important that he’s black, gay, and topping the charts because it breaks so many steroetypes” Rio Gides, sophomore, said. “It’s so important because he is a voice for young people, especially those who are black and LGBTQ+.” 

“Old Town Road” is known within practically every household. Kids love it, teens and young adults “go crazy, go stupid” over it and adults, well, they’re still listening to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk (ft. Bruno Mars.)”

Lil Nas X’s reach goes farther than that, however. He’s an inspiration and an icon to young black queer kids who are just trying to fit in. He proves that yes, you can do it and that doing what you love is more important than anyone and everyone telling you you can’t.