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Album Review

Thirty bucks.

That's how much money rapper Lil Nas X spent to lease the beat that would become "Old Town Road," his unlikely smash duet with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. As of this writing, it's spent a record 17 consecutive weeks at No. 1, making it the biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100 since the chart's inception in 1958. (Stop and let that sink in for a moment.)

Skyrocketing up nearly every global chart, Lil Nas X has experienced a mythical music ascendency that no one could have predicted. At this point, the one-hit-wonder clock has been ticking for a while. And Lil Nas X knows it.

So how does one follow up a multi-platinum behemoth like “Old Town Road?” Perhaps by bookending your debut EP with both the original and remix versions of said behemoth. Lil Nas X’s shrewd decision to include both track versions of “Old Town Road” on his debut EP, 7 EP, insulates the collection of tracks between from immediate dismissal.

As a whole, 7 EP avoids blurring the lines of country and rap any further, opting to sample soft rock, saxophone riffs and folky echoes instead. Shorter than an episode of The Office, 7 EP further reveals Lil Nas X’s production savvy and his understanding of how modern media consumption works. Which, unsurprisingly, includes embracing and glorifying some problematic content along the way, too.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

The majority of 7 EP speaks directly to both Lil Nas X's fans and his haters, with and without direct mention of the multimillion dollar elephant—er, road in the room.

On “C7osure (You Like),” Lil Nas X imagines a relationship between himself and his fans. He realizes how his growing popularity creates an obstacle to true freedom. He also recognizes the importance of living a life without regrets: “Can’t be regrettin' when I’m old,” he says.

“F9mily (You & Me)” peels back the curtain of Lil Nas X’s family situation. Having grown up in a broken home, he longs for his family to be reunited. “Yeah you and me, my friend, you best believe/We gotta fix this family.” And the song concludes on an optimistic, hopeful note: “We’re gonna’ leave here happily.”

Objectionable Content

On 7 EP, Lil Nas X trades in his horse and black hat for “weed” and “that cookie funnel cake.” In “Kick It,” he recounts how his popularity has attracted old friends that just want to “kick it.” In other words, smoking marijuana with him. And he seems willing to oblige: “Come get weed from me, it’s good” Lil Nas X repeats throughout the track, which also features multiple uses of “n-gga.”

“Rodeo” is the lone track on 7 EP that mimics the country-meets-rap concoction that made “Old Town Road” so popular. But instead of Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X raps with Cardi B. They trade lyrics such as, “I’ma take you from this party/We might go and have some sex,” and, “Rather see you in a hearse/Than see you with some other b--ch.” Another line tells us, “Last n-gga did me dirty, dirty/ Like a bathroom in a truck stop, truck stop.”

“Bring U Down” mixes grunge and pop rock sounds with lyrics that blackmail someone who apparently crossed Lil Nas X. And whatever dirt he’s got on this person, it isn’t pretty: “I dug up your past, and now I know all of your moves/And I got witnesses, statements/And I got all of the proof.”

On “Panini,” Lil Nas X unleashes on those who once claimed to support him but no longer do: “I thought you want this for my life, for my life/Said you wanted to see me thrive, you lied.”

Summary Advisory

Of 7 EP, Pitchfork said: “[It] ends up being a set of nothingness, like watching a Kylie Jenner vlog, content made for the sake of justifying its existence.” That may be true. But like Kylie Jenner, Lil Nas X has masterfully leveraged his internet savvy. Along the way, this newcomer's very first song became the biggest hit of all time (at least in terms of its tenure at No. 1).

In its 19-minute runtime, 7 EP barely answers any questions about who or what Lil Nas X really is. That said, the rapper did come out at the end of June, calling attention to some rather opaque lyrics in "C7osure" that hint at his sexual identity: "Ain't no more actin' …/No more red light for me, baby, only green, I gotta go."

In the end, this EP feels a bit like a Jackson Pollock painting: Lil Nas X flings paint simply to see what will stick. And this time around, the references to horses and tractors are replaced with coarse lyrics about weed and unstable relationships.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Debuted at No. 2.

Record Label

Columbia Records

Platform

Publisher

Released

June 21, 2019

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Jackson Greer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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