I don’t think I need to write much of a back story before I get into this review. Lil Nas X has captured the world by storm in 2019. Through turning his song into the biggest and best meme of the year, Lil Nas has turned his country rap smash “Old Town Road” into 2019s biggest smash song. Sometimes blowing up overnight like he did can put way too much pressure on the artist the produce a great record immediately; that’s kind of the problem with current internet culture. It is easy to be forgotten if you don’t keep pumping out content whether you are ready to or not. I think Lil Nas X fell victim to this problem with internet culture a bit with this record. It is obvious to see he doesn’t know exactly what direction he wants to go in with his music yet but felt the heat to put something out immediately. Due to this, the EP is kind of a hodgepodge of many sounds he is interested in, with some of the sounds hitting and some missing. I don’t think this is a bad thing tho! I like the fact he wants to experiment with genres and ideas. I hope he continues to push boundaries. Overall, I think this EP was pretty good, although it is so scrambled and rushed-sounding.
The EP starts out with the now infamous remix of “Old Town Road” by Billy Ray Cyrus. I know this remix is a bit of a novelty, but I actually really dig it! I have always appreciated Billy Ray’s cheesy monkey don’t sound, and I think it adds to the charm of the track. The next song, “Panini, ” is very obviously influenced by Travis Scott and Kanye. This is kind of the style I expected Lil Nas X to go in. Lil Nas X seems to be speaking to some people in his life that have switched up on him now that he got famous. On the chorus, he sings: “I thought you want this for my life, for my life. Said you wanted to see me thrive, you lied.” I thought he would continue this auto-crooning trap style throughout the rest of the EP, so the next song, “F9mily, ” was a surprising and welcome switch up. This cut is a punk and indie tinted pop rock track and is about trying to save his bond with his significant other, having cute lyrics like “you(yes, you. yes, you) and me(and me), yeah we, make pods; yeah we the peas.”A multitude of influences come are obvious to pick out for this track, such as Blink 182, The Strokes, and the Jonas Brothers. I really like this rock direction for him and hope he continues to make music in genres other than hip hop like this.
The next track, “Kick It, ” is the most forgettable song of the EP, in my opinion. It sounds like a generic auto-tuned trap song that could be by someone like Rich Homie Quan. I would not be very surprised if this was sort of a filler track the label had him make for a longer EP. After “Kick It, ” we get “Rodeo, ” which is Lil Nas X’s second attempt at country rap smash. Featuring Cardi B, this feels like as much of a novelty as “Old Town Road.” It isn’t bad for what it is, and I’m sure stans of Lil Nas’ first country trap smash like this one as well. The next song on the project is another rock cut, “Bring You Down.” This track seems to have a lot of post-grunge 90s influence to it; i can hear elements of Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, and Blur on it. I really dig this direction for Lil Nas as well. The last track of the EP is “C7osure(You Like), which is also a complete departure from hip hop. It is a synth-pop track that sounds like it’s influenced by artists like Clairo or Mallrat. I think the lo-fi element of the instrumental kind of rubs name in the wrong direction, and this cut is not my favorite. I appreciate what he was going for, but this cut kind of feels rushed to me; it definitely could have been more fleshed out.
I noticed quite a bit of hate for this EP from big music publications that I feel like was not very warranted. It is not perfect and does feel rushed to me, but I think this is mainly because of the pressure put on him to release new music immediately. 7 sounds like a project from an artist who has not found an identity as a musician completely yet. That’s ok, though! He is young and should experiment with sounds. If definitely has a lot of potential, and I am excited to see what music he makes next. To listen to 7, click the Spotify link below