Lil Nas X

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Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X with his hands upraised
Lil Nas X in a recording studio in 2019
Background information
Birth nameMontero Lamar Hill
Born (1999-04-09) April 9, 1999 (age 20)[1]
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2018–present

Montero Lamar Hill (born April 9, 1999), better known as Lil Nas X, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. He is best known for his country rap breakout single "Old Town Road", which achieved viral popularity as part of the "Yeehaw Challenge"[2] on the video sharing app TikTok.[3] "Old Town Road" peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was controversially removed from the Hot Country Songs after debuting at number 19.[4][5] His debut EP, 7, is slated for released on June 21, 2019.

Early life

Montero Lamar Hill was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His parents divorced when he was six, and he settled in the Bankhead Courts housing project with his mother and grandmother. Three years later he moved in with his father north of the city in Austell, a suburb in Cobb County. Although initially reluctant to leave, he later regarded it as an important decision: "There's so much shit going on in Atlanta—if I would have stayed there, I would have fallen in with the wrong crowd," he has said.[6] He began playing trumpet in the fourth grade and was first chair by his junior high years, but quit the instrument out of fear of looking uncool. Hill attended Lithia Springs High School and graduated in 2017.[7] He studied for one year at the University of West Georgia before dropping out. During this time, he stayed with his sister and supported himself with jobs at Zaxby's and Six Flags.[6]

Hill has said he began to isolate himself from "outside-of-class activities" during his teenage years. He spent large amounts of time online in hopes of building a following as an internet personality to promote his work. Creatively, he was unsure what to focus on. He posted short-format comedy videos on Facebook and Vine,[6] and also created a Nicki Minaj fan account on Twitter: "NasMaraj", named after Nicki Minaj's actual surname, Maraj, as well as New York rapper Nas. In 2015, he became known for his viral tweets and other fanpage, "FactsAboutNM". In 2017, his NasMaraj account gained attention for its interactive "scenario threads". These flash fiction-style threads were popularized on Twitter using the social media dashboard app TweetDeck.[8][9][10] But after media reports linked Hill to the "NasMaraj" account, he denied that he ran it.[11][12]


On December 3, 2018, he released the country rap song "Old Town Road". The song went viral in early 2019 due to the "Yeehaw Challenge" meme on the social media app TikTok. "Old Town Road" debuted at #83 on the Billboard Hot 100, later climbing to #1.[13] It also debuted on the Hot Country Songs chart at #19 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at #36.[14] Billboard controversially removed the song from the Hot Country songs chart in March 2019. Of its decision, Billboard told Rolling Stone magazine:

Upon further review, it was determined that "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard's country charts. When determining genres, a few factors are examined, but first and foremost is a musical composition. While "Old Town Road" incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version.[15]

Another Billboard spokesperson told Genius, "Billboard's decision to take the song off of the country chart had absolutely nothing to do with the race of the artist."[16]

Country music star Billy Ray Cyrus has since supported Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" in a tweet,[17] and he is a featured vocalist in a remix of the song released in April 2019.[18]

On April 16, 2019, it was announced that Lil Nas X had broken Drake's record for the most US streams in one week. "Old Town Road" had 143 million streams for the week ending April 11, surpassing Drake's "In My Feelings", which had 116.2 million streams in one week in July 2018.[19]

Lil Nas X will release his debut EP, 7, in June 2019.[20]

On June 22, 2019, the "Old Town Road" remix had been number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for eleven weeks.[21]


Extended plays

List of EPs, with selected details
Title Details
  • Scheduled: June 21, 2019[22]
  • Label: Columbia
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming


List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Details
  • Released: July 24, 2018[23]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming


Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album

"Old Town Road"
(solo or featuring Billy Ray Cyrus)
2019 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 7


  1. ^ Chow, Andrew R. (5 April 2019). "Lil Nas X Talks 'Old Town Road' and the Billboard Controversy." Time. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  2. ^ Espinoza, Joshua (13 March 2019). "Rapper Lil Nas X Scored a Billboard Hot 100 Hit Thanks to a TikTok Meme." Retrieved 8 April, 2019.
  3. ^ Emily Yahr (29 March 2019). "Billboard pulled Lil Nas X's viral 'Old Town Road' from the country chart. It ignited a controversy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  4. ^ Sisario, Ben (2019-04-05). "Lil Nas X Added Billy Ray Cyrus to 'Old Town Road.' Is It Country Enough for Billboard Now?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  5. ^ "Lil Nas X, Country Music's Unlikely Son, Sparks Conversation On Genre And Race". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  6. ^ a b c Eels, Josh (May 20, 2019). "Lil Nas X: Inside the Rise of a Hip-Hop Cowboy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  7. ^ Daniel, Ron (April 11, 2019). "Lithia grad Lil Nas X has top song in America". Douglas County Sentinel. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  8. ^ N/A, Mix (10 July 2017). "One cryptic storyteller is using Twitter to craft thrilling interactive fiction". The Next Web. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  9. ^ Hill, Montero (4 August 2017). "nasmaraj (u/nasmaraj) - Reddit". Reddit. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  10. ^ Feldman, Brian (5 April 2019). "Before 'Old Town Road,' Lil Nas X Was a Tweetdecker". New York Magazine. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Wrangler On His Booty: Lil Nas X On The Making And The Magic Of 'Old Town Road'". Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  12. ^ "Lil Nas X on His Connection to Nicki Minaj Stan Account: 'It's Like a Big Misunderstanding'". Complex. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  13. ^ Kellner, Xander. "Spurred by a TikTok Meme, Lil Nas X Scores First Billboard Hot 100 Hit With 'Old Town Road'". Billboard.
  14. ^ Cirisano, Tatiana. "Labels Sparring Over Rapper Lil Nas X As 'Old Town Road' Rakes In Streams: Exclusive". Billboard.
  15. ^ Nast, Condé. "Billboard Removes Lil Nas X's Viral Song "Old Town Road" from Country Chart". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  16. ^ Nast, Condé. "Billboard Removes Lil Nas X's Viral Song "Old Town Road" from Country Chart". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  17. ^ Cyrus, Billy Ray (2019-04-03). ".@LilNasX Been watching everything going on with OTR. When I got thrown off the charts, Waylon Jennings said to me "Take this as a compliment" means you're doing something great! Only Outlaws are outlawed. Welcome to the club!". @billyraycyrus. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  18. ^ Sisario, Ben (2019-04-05). "Lil Nas X Added Billy Ray Cyrus to 'Old Town Road.' Is It Country Enough for Billboard Now?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  19. ^ "Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" Breaks Drake's Streaming Record!". Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Lil Nas X on Instagram: "7 DROPS ON JUNE 21ST!! 🐎🌃💫"". Instagram. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  23. ^ Lil Nas X (14 July 2018). "NASARATI by Lil Nas X — Free Listening on SoundCloud". SoundCloud. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  24. ^ Trust, Gary (April 8, 2019). "'Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" Leaps to No. 1 on the Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  25. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: April 13, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  26. ^ a b "ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  27. ^ "2019 Archive: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  28. ^ "Discography Lil Nas X". Danish Charts (Hung Medien). Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  30. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 20 Single uke 15, 2019". VG-lista. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  31. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles". Recorded Music NZ. April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  32. ^ "Veckolista Singlar, vecka 16". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  33. ^ "Lil Nas X". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  34. ^ "Gold & Platinum – RIAA: Lil Nas X". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  35. ^ "British certifications – Lil Nas X". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 10, 2019. Type Lil Nas X in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  36. ^ "Lil Nas X — Old Town Road". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  37. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Lil Nas X – Old Town Road". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved June 7, 2019.

External links