Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X


Artist Playlists

About Lil Nas X

When Lil Nas X released “Old Town Road” at the end of 2018, there was no splashy launch campaign. “I was just kinda bored,” he told Apple Music. “I wanted to put something up. So that’s what I did.” But that upload by Montero Lamar Hill (born in 1999 in Lithia Springs, Georgia) wound up becoming life-changing for him and world-altering for pop music. A genre-defying phenomenon that combined country, camp, virality and straight-up hookiness, it set chart records around the world, forced conversations about race and genre into the mainstream, and propelled the onetime meme-maker into the mainstream. Other artists might have coasted on such a seismic initial success, but Nas had different plans. On his first EP, 2019’s 7, he borrowed from Nirvana (on the plush “Panini”) and collaborated with blink-182’s Travis Barker; he also came out in the wake of his release, becoming the first artist to do so while boasting a chart-topping record. MONTERO, which followed in 2021, chronicled his life as a queer man while expanding his sonic palette—it mashed together speedy New Wave, heroic guitar solos and stripped-down balladry; its guest list included Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion and Elton John; and its provocative imagery tweaked the easily outraged. In 2024, Lil Nas X released “Where Do We Go Now?”, a pensive ballad that calls back to Nashville while speaking to the ennui sparked by a meteoric rise to the top. But its restlessness is of a piece with Lil Nas X’s boundless creativity—and a sign that he’s not going to rest on his laurels or fit into anyone’s expectations, even his own.

Lithia Springs, GA, United States
9 April 1999
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