Our top 10 Lil Nas X songs list looks at the body of work of an American hip hop rapper best known for his record-breaking hit “Old Town Road.” “Old Town Road” holds the record for the longest number one charting hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Lil Nas X is one of the most successful Black American LGBTQ artists in the hip hop scene. The artist has reached stardom with just one studio album, one extended play, and a mixtape.
Lil Nas X’s music is an amalgam of pop-rap and hip hop. However, some of his songs have seen him venture into the country rap and pop-rock music genres. Lil Nas dropped out of college to focus on his musical career in 2018. Despite his decision not being welcomed by his father, Lil Nas did it anyway, and the gamble paid off almost imminently.
The rapper took on the stage name Lil Nas X, which he later revealed to be a tribute to the New York-born hip hop legend Nas. Over his three-year music career, Lil Nas X has scored three chart-topping hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The rapper/singer also has seen twelve more of his tracks manage to rise to the Billboard Hot 100.
However, his career has not come without criticism. Despite winning the hearts of music fans, Lil Nas X has had a tough time trying to make collaborations with fellow Black rappers (especially men). His album Montero only saw him feature female and white artists. This has largely been attributed to being gay, something most Black rappers haven’t truly appreciated. Other Black artists in the hip hop/rap scene to have come out as LGBTQ include Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean.
Lil Nas X’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
After dropping out of college to pursue his musical career, he barely knew that he would achieve success in the same year with his debut single, “Old Town Road.” The song was issued in December 2018 independently. Lil Nas X would become an overnight sensation a few months later after he issued a remix of the song featuring legendary country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
In June 2019, Lil Nas X issued his debut EP, 7, which became home to the original and remix version of the hit “Old Town Road.” Other notable songs featured on the EP include “Panini” and “Rodeo.” 7 saw Lil Nas X achieve critical and mainstream success in the US and beyond. The EP was Platinum-certified twice in the US, peaking at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.
7 topped the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The EP and its Diamond-certified single “Old Town Road” brought Lil Nas X to fame on a global platform. Other artists featured on the EP include Cardi B, Travis Barker, and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Lil Nas X’s Album Releases over the Years
After a successful EP in 2019, Lil Nas X would later release his debut LP, Montero, in 2021. Montero was Platinum-certified in the US, peaking at number two on the Billboard 200 and UK Albums charts. The LP featured other reputable artists, including Miley Cyrus, Elton John, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Jack Harlow. Lil Nas X’s Montero is home to two number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and “Industry Baby.”
Montero saw Lil Nas X take on the pop-rap music genre, which is slightly different from the singer’s country rap influences seen on his debut EP, 7. Other notable releases from the LP include “Sun Goes Down,” “Thats What I Want,” and “Lost in the Citadel.”
Lil Nas X’s Other Musical Pursuits
With his career just getting started, the 1999-born rapper and singer hasn’t been involved in other musical pursuits other than his solo career. In July 2018, the rapper/singer issued his self-released mixtape, Nasarati. The mixtape was issued through SoundCloud, featuring ten songs.
Lil Nas X’s Accolades and Legacy
In his short music career, Lil Nas X has established himself as an iconic pop-rap artist. His musical pursuits were inspired by Drake, Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus. Lil Nas X first achieved success with his hit “Old Town Road,” winning multiple awards from music awards shows, including the American Music Awards, Apple Music Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, and Billboard Music Awards, among others.
“Old Town Road” was crowned the Musical Event of the Year in the 2019 Country Music Association Awards. The song also won the 2020 Grammy Awards accolades in the Best Music Video and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance categories. His song “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” is his next highest award-winning release, winning three MTV Video Music Awards accolades.
Despite controversy about his sexuality and religion, Lil Nas X still has managed to beat all odds to become a reputable pop-rap star. The rapper/singer has also been defined by his aesthetic fashion wear, both in his music video and in real-life appearance. Here we present the ten best Lil Nas X songs from his short but amazingly successful career.
#10 – Dolla Sign Slime ft. Megan Thee Stallion
Ushering us to the top 10 Lil Nas X songs is the brilliant collaborative hit “Dolla Sign Slime.” The song finds Lil Nas X teaming up with the female hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion. This marked the first time the two artists hit the studio for a collaborative song. “Dolla Sign Slime” is featured on Lil Nas X’s debut LP, Montero.
The two singer’s penned the lyrics to the song, while Nick Lee, Denzel Baptiste, and David Biral in composing the music to the song. Lil Nas X and Megan Thee Stallion rap about their fame and fortune. The two also poke fun at people who try to emulate them but fail. “Dolla Sign Slime” peaked at number forty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100.
#9 – Sun Goes Down
“Sun Goes Down” sends us back to Lil Nas X’s debut LP, Montero. In this hit, Lil Nas X addresses his younger self reflecting on bullying and the tough times as he came to terms with his sexuality. The rapper revealed that he gave the song its title inspired by the fact that nighttime marks the time one can barely escape from all the tormenting thoughts.
Lil Nas X showcases how he once encountered suicidal thoughts. However, the song is filled with hope for people of his sexuality, promising that it gets better with coming out proudly and admitting who they are. “Sun Goes Down” peaked at number sixty-six on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also successful in the UK, peaking at number forty-two.
#8 – Scoop ft. Doja Cat
Our number eight spot on the Lil Nas X songs list goes to the hit “Scoop.” “Scoop” is a collaborative hit between Lil Nas X and female pop-rap star Doja Cat. Both artists are credited with having penned the lyrics to this alluring hit. The song marked the first time Lil Nas X and Doja Cat released a collaborative hit together.
This 2021 hit finds Lil Nas X crooning about working on his physique so that he can charm his love interest. Doja Cat sings about how she, too, had been hooked to the vibe of working on her body shape just to impress her lover. “Scoop” peaked at number forty-two on the Billboard Hot 100.
#7 – Rodeo ft. Cardi B
“Rodeo” is yet another successful collaborative hit by Lil Nas X and “Bodak Yellow” star Cardi B. The song blends country trap sonic vibes with a touch of hip hop. “Rodeo” is featured on Lil Nas X’s debut extended play, 7. Lil Nas X teamed up with Cardi B Pardison Fontaine, and the whole production crew in co-writing this brilliant country trap ballad.
Lil Nas X croons about how staying with his lover is a necessity for him. This is despite fame and other factors trying to bring their love down. Cardi B gives Lil Nas X a piece of advice in the line of fidelity in a relationship. “Rodeo” interpolates the 1977 hit “Barracuda” by the rock band Heart. The song was Platinum-certified two times in the US. On the Billboard Hot 100, “Rodeo” peaked at number twenty-two. The song also peaked at number twelve on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
#6 – Holiday
Number six on the top 10 Lil Nas X songs is the raving hit “Holiday.” “Holiday” marked Lil Nas X’s first promotional track for his debut LP, Montero. The song finds the rapper reflecting on his success. Lil Nas X reveals that his Diamond-certified hit “Old Town Road” started out as a gimmick. However, he credits his breakthrough to the song, citing that it is the sole reason he made it in the industry.
“Holiday” interpolates the rapper’s hit “Old Town Road.” This holiday-themed hit was Platinum-certified in the US by RIAA. The song managed to rise to position thirty-seven on Billboard Hot 100. On the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, “Holiday” peaked at number eleven.
#5 – That’s What I Want
On September 17, 2021, Lil Nas X released yet another smashing hit, “That’s What I Want.” The song was penned by Lil Nas X, Ryan Tedder, Omer Fedi, KBeazy, and Blake Slatkin. It was featured on Lil Nas X’s debut LP, Montero, released on the same date.
The song finds Lil Nas X crooning about his lifetime desire for pure love. Lil Nas X showcases how much of a struggle it is for a gay Black man to receive love. The rapper is featured in the music video falling in love with an American football player.
The song features an infectious beat that adds glamor to Lil Nas X’s lyrical and vocal delivery. The song has been Platinum-certified in the US, peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart and two Canadian music charts.
“Panini” is one of the best Lil Nas X songs from the rapper’s EP, 7. The song was penned by Lil Nas X, Dot Da Genius, and the production duo, Take a Daytrip. Lil Nas X raps about his old fans, comparing them to a character from Chowder, a popular animated TV series.
The rapper later talked about the song citing Panini’s overly possessive nature over Chowder. He compares Panini to his old fans who liked him when he was just an up-and-coming artist with no reputation in the rap scene. However, the song should not be taken as Lil Nas X’s way of getting back at his old fans who fail to feel his musical vibes currently.
Instead, he revealed that the song was meant to remind the fans that he wanted them back. “Panini” was a commercial success, receiving a Platinum certification six times in the US. The song peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
“Panini” interpolated the song “In Bloom” by the rock ensemble Nirvana. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category in 2020. However, it lost to “Higher” by DJ Khaled featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend. Other songs nominated for the award include “The London” by Young Thug featuring J. Cole and Travis Scott, “Ballin’” by Mustard featuring Roddy Rich, and “Drip Too Hard” by Lil Baby and Gunna.
#3 – Industry Baby ft. Jack Harlow
Our number three track on the ten best Lil Nas X songs is the hit “Industry Baby.” The song finds Lil Nas X teaming up with successful rapper Jack Harlow. “Industry Baby” is featured on the rapper’s debut LP, Montero.
Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow rap in this energetic hit about their accomplishments since joining the music industry. “Industry Baby” won the UK Music Video Awards’ Best Pop Video – International accolade. The song was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category in 2022. However, it lost to “Hurricane” by Kanye West featuring Lil Baby and The Weeknd.
“Industry Baby” was also nominated for the MTV Video Music Awards in the Song of Summer category. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and three more Billboard charts. “Industry Baby” was a commercial success having it Platinum-certified four times in the US. The song is featured in Forza Horizon 5, a 2021 racing video game.
#2- Montero (Call Me by Your Name)
“Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” is the album title track to Lil Nas X’s debut LP. The song is yet another chart-topping hit from Montero. Lil Nas X teamed up with Roy Lenzo and the production duo Take a Daytrip in writing the song. The song marked Lil Nas X’s next chart-topping hit on the Billboard Hot 100 after his breakout debut single “Old Town Road.”
The song features queer themes alluding to gay romance and a number of Christian religion-inspired scenes. Some called Lil Nas X a devil worshiper after the video to the song featured him giving the devil a lap dance. The song has topped over twenty music charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles chart.
The song won three accolades in the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards ceremony. In 2021, the song also won the Favorite Music Video accolade at the American Music Awards ceremony. The song was also nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2022, including Record of the Year, Best Music Video, and Song of the Year.
#1- Old Town Road featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
Number one on our top 10 Lil Nas X songs list is the collaborative hit “Old Town Road.” Initially, Lil Nas X released the song as his debut hit in December 2018. He would later team up with country musician Billy Ray Cyrus in releasing this ground-breaking country rap ballad.
The song was featured on the rapper’s debut EP, 7. It samples the hit “34 Ghosts IV” by Nine Inch Nails. The song is Lil Nas X’s only hit to receive a Diamond certification, becoming his best-selling hit. “Old Town Road” topped over twenty music charts, including the UK Singles chart and Billboard Hot 100. The song went on to become the longest chart-topping hit on the Billboard Hot 100 after it stayed atop of the chart for nineteen weeks.
The song won the American Music Awards’ Favorite Song – Rap/Hip-Hop, two BET Hip Hop Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and a Teen Choice Awards accolade. Its biggest win remains two Grammy Awards in 2020 for the Best Music Video and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. In the same year, the song was nominated for a Grammy Award for the Record of the Year accolade. However, it lost to “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish.
Top 10 Lil Nas X Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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