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For Lil Nas X, 2019 has been a year that most artists only dream of living. Over the years, we’ve seen many young musicians come out of the gate with a hit-record, but what Lil Nas X has been able to accomplish with “Old Town Road” has been nothing short of monumental. Not only does the 20-year-old have a record that is relentlessly supported by the hip hop community, but one that in many ways has been a unifying song due to how it crosses genres and the experience it has created for such a wide range of age groups.

Lil Nas X’s stardom has quickly skyrocketed, with a successful EP now on the market, a couple of singles making noise and “Old Town Road” still seated comfortably at the top of the Hot 100. His use of social media has made many feel like they have a connection with him, which has allowed Lil Nas X to continually grow. Fans seem to be just as interested in his personal life as they are in the music. In today’s social media age, audiences want to feel like they know their favorite artists. With that said, today we’d like to give you five fun facts about the new star.

1. He Played The Trumpet While In Grade School

Since a kid, Lil Nas X has been into music. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he admitted that while in grade school he played the trumpet. He detailed that he even was good enough to eventually make first chair at his junior-high-school. In the same interview, he stated that he ended up giving the instrument up because he didn’t want to look lame. “I wish I would have stayed in it,” he admitted.

2. He Left College To Pursue Music

In hip hop, there are lots of great stories about artists and their experiences with college or lack thereof. For Lil Nas X, his tenure in school was brief, but for a good reason. After spending one year at the University of West Georgia, he decided to drop out and take his pursuit of a career in music full time. Fast forward a year later, he has one of the biggest songs of all time. As with most parents, at first, they weren’t so happy to hear that he would no longer be attending school. In an interview with Time Magazine, he stated “My dad initially was like, ‘There [are] a million rappers in this industry. They wanted me to go back to school.”

3. His Record-Breaking Song “Old Town Road” First Went Super Viral on TikTok

The way that artists creatively promote music continuously evolves each year. Right now, one of the major platforms that assists in taking a song to the next level is TikTok, a social media app popular for sharing fun, most times music-based videos. What started as a Twitter meme for months eventually took off on the TikTok app and developed into a “yee-haw” challenge that catapulted the song’s popularity. Viral success in the music industry is nothing new in today’s climate, but we’ve never seen it quite like this. Lil Nas acknowledges the role it played in the song’s success. “TikTok helped me change my life,” Lil Nas X said, in the release. “TikTok brought my song to several different audiences at once.” Take a look at some “yee-haw” challenge entries below.

4. He May Change His Name Out Respect For Nas

As Lil Nas X’s popularity continued to grow and more people started to become aware of him, folks started to wonder what the inspiration was behind his stage name. Questions came about asking: Was it paying homage to the Queens legend Nasir “Nas” Jones? Was it a troll? Something completely unrelated? In late April, the 20 -year-old took to Twitter to make it clear that he had no intention to disrespect Nas with his stage name admitting that he may even end up changing it in the future.

5. Last Year He Was Working At Zaxby’s and Six Flags

After Lil Nas X decided that he would be taking some time off from school to fully pursue music, he lived with his sister while working a job as a cashier at Zaxby’s and an attendant at Six Flags. During that time the up and comer was making music and living off of the money he was able to save up from both jobs. He told Rolling Stone that during that stretch he didn’t have a car or even a driver’s license. When asked why he responded, “There was no point in a license, cause when am I gonna have a car?” Everyone has a story, and the honesty in Lil Nas X’s is another reason why he’s developed such a strong fan base. Genuine transparency can go a long way.

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