Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” has been at No. 1 for so long — it recently reached 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 — that it’s important to remember the song began as a complete underdog. But its narrative changed from “chart-jilted outsider viral hit” to “unbeatable juggernaut” so rapidly (with a little help from Billy Ray Cyrus) that the song’s ultimate destiny as the Hot 100’s longest-leading No. 1 ever seems very possible.
Will “Old Town Road” stay on top for another three weeks, locking in the milestone? Or will a challenger ascend the ranks to knock it off its throne? That second option looks plausible in the wake of Billie Eilish’s recent dream-making team-up with Justin Bieber for her “Bad Guy” remix. After all, “Bad Guy” has hovered just under Lil Nas X’s opus for nearly as long as the latter has reigned.
If you’re keeping track, this is actually the third “Old Town Road” remix, after the well-known Cyrus cut and the lesser-known Diplo version that circulated in late April. On the newest rendition, Thugger adopts a panoply of voices to rap about cars and being a back-door man, while Ramsey delivers a twangy hook near the end, punctuated by his signature yodel.
When MTV News spoke to Lil Nas X earlier this year, he revealed the reasons behind grabbing Cyrus to lend the song more mass appeal. “Who else but this country legend to hop on this country-trap song who’s loved and known by everybody?” he said.
With its newest additions, “Old Town Road” seems primed to appeal to a somehow even broader audience, which, with addition of both Thugger and Ramsey, now likely includes both snake enthusiasts and folks who share memes exclusively on Facebook. A smart play!
Listen to the newest “Old Town Road” version via the lyric video — which is so built around Memoji animations that it might actually be an Apple commercial? — above. Then see his conversation with MTV News below.