About a year ago, a new rapper rose to fame after releasing a “country-rap” song titled “Old Town Road,” which featured famous country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. A few months later in June of 2019, this artist, who goes by the name Lil Nas X, debuted his first album “7.”
Now many months later on Feb. 6, 2020, the artist has released a music video for the LP’s 5th track “Rodeo.” However, while the song originally features female rapper Cardi B, the video was created with a newer collaboration: old school rapper Nas. Lil Nas X has also commented back at some speculation that there was beef between him and Cardi B, saying she simply couldn’t film the video.
While some fans were disappointed in this switch, many others were super excited. In the past, Lil Nas X has been accused of copying Nas’ name, so it was great to see that the two themselves hold a relationship regardless. The pair even performed the remix at the 2020 Grammy’s and the topic was discussed at the end of Nas’ verse. “Nas X or Big Nas, this shit ride,” he sang.
The new sounds and older rap vibes help bring together the 90’s themes the video encompasses even more.
Prior to the video's release, snippets were shown to the public that suggested the video would take inspiration from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” video, featuring creatures beyond humanity. Lil Nas X also posted on Instagram a bundle of scene snapshots from many 80’s-90's movies and music videos, alluding to the fact that the video would be inspired by that time period and the art made then.
The video begins with Lil Nas X stepping into a telephone booth talking to a mysterious creepy voice stating, “Hello, remember me? I wanna play a game.” Seconds later, the man on the phone dashes towards Lil Nas X, biting his neck and turning him into a vampire.
The song then begins and the scene then switches to Lil Nas walking down the road under a full moon, each neighbor using their own techniques to fend off vampires.
As the video precedes, Lil Nas enters a warehouse and more creatures join him in choreographed dancing and unique outfits. Soon after, Nas appears and presents his lines in his own way. The video then ends with the artists hanging upside down in bat position.
Watching the video, if you are familiar with the movies Blade and The Matrix, you can see elements of each of them in this project.
However, while the videography was interesting and individualistic, this video itself was kind of confusing and didn’t really go with the song's lyrics very much. As Lil Nas X’s career as a musician progresses, you can easily see his growth and talent as an artist and an individual. The creativity of his videos continues to get better, as well as his music and style overall.
I hope though, that he can mesh together all these different elements of his creativity, and create music and videography that works together much better in the future.
Whether you were a fan of Old Town Road or not, you should definitely check out Lil Nas X’s other work, including this new remix and video for “Rodeo.”
I would give this release a 4 out of 5 Swoops.