Musical Genius Lil Nas X turns Eau Claire house parties into bopping hoedowns

Old Town Road” is the slapper blessing music libraries

More stories from Ryan Huling


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It’s refreshing to know all of us were alive when Lil Nas X released the most powerful and incredible tune known to man, “Old Town Road.”

In celebration of this, the City of Eau Claire declared last Saturday “Old Town Road” day, much to the excitement of the community. Some UW-Eau Claire students were so excited, in fact, that they threw a “darty” (that’s a day party, for the less-than-hip readers).

Lil Nas X first put out “Old Town Road” on SoundCloud four months ago, something he probably didn’t think would lead him to superstardom. It is one of only three songs Lil Nas X has on Spotify, but it sits at 114 million streams, gaining him more than 21 million monthly listeners.

Before this, Lil Nas X wasn’t looking too hot in the music scene. His other songs are all housed on his SoundCloud and, as much as he promotes them on Twitter (it’s quite often), they just cannot compare to the banger that is “Old Town Road.”

Lil Nas X is not someone to take for granted, according to multiple Eau Claire “darty”-goers.

“His talents are unmatched,” said one man, sporting a beer guzzler cowboy hat Saturday afternoon. “He rhymed ‘movie’ with ‘boobies’ and pronounced ‘matte’ like ‘matty’ and it doesn’t matter if that’s not right because, by golly, it’s a slapper.”

Another man couldn’t help but chime in, this one wearing nothing but cowboy boots and a U.S. flag speedo.

“He’s at the same level as T-Pain, who rhymed ‘mansion’ with ‘Wiscansin’ in his song ‘Can’t Believe It,’” he said. “That kind of talent isn’t just given. It’s earned.”

Before “Old Town Road” hit the charts as No. 1, the song was picked up and heavily used in Tik Tok videos, inciting that “yee yee juice” and the song were making people turn into cowpoke.

But beyond the horror that is Tik Tok, “Old Town Road” suddenly made headlines when it was taken off of the Billboard country charts for not having enough country elements.

Supporters at the parties weren’t in favor.

“Are you kidding me?” one woman said, swinging her arms and knocking over several red Solo cups. “A song where they talk about horses, cowboy hats, a porch, boots and bull riding isn’t country enough? Almost every Sam Hunt or Brett Eldredge song has less country elements than ‘Old Town Road.’ Just because Lil Nas X doesn’t have a heavy southern drawl and uses a heavier beat doesn’t mean he isn’t making country music.”

Regardless, Lil Nas X prevailed above the Billboard Gods by summoning his trap card: Billy Ray Cyrus. The man that won our “Achy Breaky Hearts” with his country voice, beautiful hair and impeccable acting skills in “Hannah Montana” hopped into the studio with Lil Nas X.

The result of their get together was something of majestic allure, “Old Town Road – Remix.”

“Billy Ray isn’t afraid to flex,” one man said, who was wearing a shirt with Billy Ray Cyrus’ face and the words “What To Heck??” on it. “He’s talking about his baby and she’s buying ‘diamond rings and Fendi sports bras’ and he’s out here, flexing with his ‘Maserati sports car.’ Disney Channel must have treated him well!”

For the past six weeks, “Old Town Road” has been on the Billboard’s Hot 100 and for the past two, it’s been No. 1. The song also broke Drake’s record for most streams in a single week, overtaking him by more than 30 million streams.

(Drake has something to be “In (His) Feelings” about now.)

Country mixed with hip hop, this song is all about bringing people together.

Keith Urban, KK Slider (the dog from Animal Crossing) and countless others have covered the song on Twitter. Besides popularity, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus are all about giving the people what they want: an absolute bop of a song.

“Mozart, Bach, Beethoven — I don’t want to hear it,” declared one man wearing a fringe jacket and Yeezy 350s. “Quit living in the past. There is a musical genius right beneath our noses and he’s got the horses in the back.”

Huling can be reached at [email protected]