Lil Nas X put country rap on the musical map, and now, his hit “Old Town Road” made chart history. That’s right, the 21-year-old hip-hop star has broken yet another record with his breakout hit, “Old Town Road.” The song was released in 2018, but with help from Billy Ray Cyrus and TikTok, it broke out in 2019. X, at only, paid $30 for a beat sample online and $20 for less than an hour of studio time. He promoted the song through his homemade collection of memes and relevant TikTok challenges. (Including the aptly named #YeeHawChallenge.) He released it independently where it just broke the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As it got bigger, it got better. Columbia Records picked up Nas X, remixed “Old Town Road” with Cyrus, and released it. Now it is the fastest selling diamond record of all time and the most certified.And little did Nas X know that his organically promoted and cheaply made song would end up 14x platinum. It would also bring him tens of awards, sensational global performances, and a book deal surrounding his brand of country rap. X released his first children’s book, C is for Country, on January 5, 2021. The publisher, RHC Books, notes that the book“is a celebration of song and the power inside us all.”
“Old Town Road” Makes Chart History
“Old Town Road” going platinum 14 times over makes the track the most certified song in all RIAA history. The RIAA, Recording Industry Association of America, updated their single certification regulations in 2013 to include electronic streams. Between the rise of streaming and Lil Nas X’s social presence, “Old Town Road” was able to rise to prominence. Time Magazine even named Lil Nas X one of their 25 Most Influential People of 2019 on the Internet. This is widely because of the Grammy Award winner’s “global impact on social media.”The song not only dethroned the 13x platinum, “All of Me” by John Legend, but also the hit “Despactio.” “Despacito” by Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi, and Justin Bieber was certified 13x platinum just a year ago on January 6, 2020.Until this past November, “Despacito” held the title of most-viewed video on YouTube, as well, with seven billions views. It was replaced by Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark Dance.”“Old Town Road” makes chart history once again, after sitting atop the Billboard chart for the most weeks at No. 1. The song stayed at the top for 19 weeks before Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” took it over. Both Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus shared their excitement over the latest “Old Town Road” achievement on Twitter. Nas X posted a meme, of course, while Cyrus posted a video to thank everyone involved. It’s not everyday these two are celebrating a single being sold 14 million times. The beloved country rap track “Old Town Road” makes chart history this week, but genre-bending history forever. Thanks, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.