Lil Nas X teamed up with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus for the remix of “Old Town Road,” and it’s a collaboration we never knew we needed. The song’s new version combines both the country and rap genres for the most unique remix in years.
Since their release, the song has quickly gone viral, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – making it the third country song to make it to No. 1 in three decades. Not only that, but “Old Town Road” also broke the record as the longest-ever song to be at the top spot of the Billboard Top 100 charts, after it spent an impressive eighteen weeks at No. 1. It broke the record for longest chart reign previously held by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” in 1996 and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” in 2017. “
“On Town Road” went on soaring at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. The duo’s version was nominated for Record of the Year and won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video.
But did you know the collaboration all started from a simple tweet? Lil Nas X once tweeted that he wanted Cyrus on the song, whom he knew because of Cyrus’ role on the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana.
With the help of his record label, Cyrus listened to the song over coffee and immediately fell in love with it. The country superstar also revealed that he related to the song, comparing the “old town road” to the Old Town Bridge located in Argillite, Kentucky, where Cyrus would play when he was just a child.
The remix was then recorded to support “Old Town Road,” being recognized as a country song.
A year after the success of “On Town Road,” Lil Nas X took his horse down memory lane. “I knew it would be successful, but DAMN did it change EVERYTHING! Can’t express how much this song has done for me. Thank you to everybody who made this happen!” the 21-year-old artist tweeted.
He also shared a short clip of him and Cyrus hunkering down in the studio as they try to perfect the sensation they had on their hands. Lil Nas X described the “Achy Breaky Heart” crooner’s contribution as “the perfect conclusion” to “Old Town Road.” Cyrus, on the other hand, emphasized how this only marked the start for the bubbling rapper.
“You’re a light in this world, man. You’re gonna shine,” Cyrus told Lil Nas X in the video. “People are gonna see you from all over the universe.”
It Turns Out The Song’s Lyrics Are Actually Deeper Than You Thought
Written at a time when he felt disheartened to pursue his music career, Lil Nas X said that “On Town Road” represents the path to success, wealth, fortune, and all the good things he is currently experiencing now. He believes his opportunities are limitless, so he decided he’s going to ride ’til he can’t no more.
“‘Old Town Road’ came after a period of feeling like I was out of options. I was living with my sister. She was pretty much fed up with me being there. That’s where the chorus lyric came from—it was me saying, ‘I want to leave everything behind,'” he said.
Lil Nas X gave up his college dreams to pursue a music career, and his parents were less than thrilled.
“But during the month of me making [it], I gave it a different meaning, so that the ‘Old Town Road’ would be the symbol for success. The horse would be not having too much, but having what you have in order to get to where you’re trying to go. The ‘can’t nobody tell me nothing’ part is referring to my parents: wanting me to go back to school, not thinking it’s that likely for [me] to make it,” he further revealed.
In what turned out to be a twist of fate, “Old Town Road” is now among the biggest chart hits of all time. You can listen to the viral song in the video below.
billy ray cyrus, Lil Nas X