Who’s mans is this? To be honest, I can’t believe I’m even reviewing this EP. Someone like Lil Nas X isn’t the type of artist I typically care about. So, it’s easy for me to ignore this dude. Despite his huge viral following, I think we all know who this kid really is. An industry plant? Maybe. One-hit wonder? Probably not, actually. But more importantly, he’s a young black artist on the rise, trying to break the mold. Thus far he’s done just that, topping the charts once again with the release of his debut project, the 7 EP. While listening through this thing, it pleasantly surprised me. Lil Nas X fuses pop-rap with elements of house music, rock, and, more specifically, grunge, which results in a generally likable batch of songs. He has a strong sense of melody and sounds comfortable among various sonic styles.
Other than the “Old Town Road” tracks, I enjoyed “Panini,” “Kick It,” and “C7osure (You Like)”. The latter is my favorite here. It centers around Lil Nas X breaking away from those who try to dictate his behavior. He wants to separate himself from the friends-turned-foes. “Why it’s always what you like?” he asks. When it’s his career, he is the ultimate decider of his fate. He finishes the song with the line: “This is what I gotta do, can’t be regrettin’ when I’m old.” I feel ya, young brutha! His vocals do struggle on this one. The track is quite charming nonetheless, as is most of this EP. However, overall, the 7 EP doesn’t do much for me personally. Although he is only 20 years old, Lil Nas X wears his influences heavily on his sleeve — most notably the boy Drizzy Drake.
Both “Panini” and “C7osure” are solid, friendly cuts. Yet their shelf lives do not bode well. As a matter of fact, expect to hear another short project from this man before the year is over. Because, well, this EP doesn’t make much of a splash. While he does mix things up, neither his writing nor his delivery bring the best out of these tracks. I must say, though, for the audience he’s going for, this EP does its job. His fame will perpetuate. And his cowboy hat ain’t going anywhere either. Nevertheless, Lil Nas X hasn’t elevated past one-hit wonder status just yet. These other six tracks show his potential versatility down the road. But for now, he remains a par-level artist, catering to the masses in a relatively unimpressive fashion. If all goes well, I hope someday he finds that happy medium between craft and commercialism.