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Album Review: Lil Nas X – ‘7’

With a lot to live up to, the artist delivers.

Zach Wagner

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With a quick rise to the top of mainstream music, one of America’s newest music stars Lil Nas X attempts to follow up on his monster hit “Old Town Road” with a new EP, 7. The record illustrates his versatility, exploring many different genres: hip hop, pop, rock, and country.

While topping the charts — “Old Town Road” has held the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the past 14 weeks — Lil Nas X has been able to capture mass amounts of attention. The recruitment of Billy Ray Cyrus for the “Old Town Road Remix” sent him into a whole other stratosphere.

When you look at all the hype that surrounds Lil Nas X, and the different sounds he was able to provide, you can definitely say he more than delivered.

Lil Nas X had a lot to live up to when it came to this highly anticipated EP. With just one smash record, he could still fall into the one hit wonder category.

After months of teasing the project via Instagram, 7 dropped on June, 21st, giving the Atlanta based artist the opportunity to set the tone for the summer.

The EP kicks off where it all began, with the “Old Town Road Remix” accompanied by Cyrus. This was an excellent start to the record, hearing the familiar tune created a build it before diving into the new tracks.

The second track on the project, “Panini,” is an upbeat love song produced by Takeadaytrip. The track explodes with a hard hitting drop to get it started, giving the track a hip hop feel. Throughout the track, Lil Nas X reveals his feelings towards a women during his rise to stardom. Referencing her as panini, Lil Nas X describes her jealously created by all his new fans. This track is well produced, with strong vocals. This track defiantly stands alone as a favorite on the EP.

“Kick it” and “Rodeo” add more of that Hip-hop feel, giving the project more of an edge. These tracks explore his rise to the top and all the clout that follows.

“Kick it” has a great concept behind the lyrics. Lil Nas X talks about his recent success from the perspective of someone who doubted him. “Now you all over the place, check TL(timeline) I see your face” he sang. He continued later on in the track stating “oh you just that n***a now, can’t pick up cool than let me know” he rapped. This concept was very creative, giving the project more of a lyrical boost.

“Rodeo” is another produced track by Takeadaytrip, where you get thrown into another wild bass drop. The track is accompanied by one of hip hop’s biggest names, Cardi B, expanding the demographic of the project even further. Cardi B delivered a relatively strong verse adding more fuel to the fire. This verse was unexpected, adding more excitement following the release

“F9mily (You & Me)”, “Bring U Down”, and “C7osure (You like)”, show a more emotional side of Lil Nas X. He dives into an early 2000’s rock sound, with a sprinkle of pop. As more of a Hip-hop fan, these tracks didn’t stick out as much as the others. The sound felt outdated and recycled.

It should be exciting to see what Lil Nas X can offers as an artist heading into the future. With a sound holding no boundaries, the sky is the limit for the new star. Exercising his versatility will hopefully encourage the industry to break down the barriers between the genres.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Born and raised in Syracuse, NY. Zach Wagner looks to expand his horizons in effort to pave his way into the Entertainment Journalism Scene. Currently a student at SUNY Brockport, Wagner has done some work as Staff Writer for the school newspaper, The Stylus, focusing on mostly music and entertainment. With big plans for his career, CMN is the start of a long journey for the aspiring journalist.

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