Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past eight months, you have heard at least one version of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” The song, now the longest-running chart-topper in Billboard Hot 100 history, has been remixed by practically everybody at this point. That sense of inescapability is captured in his Lil Nas X’s video for “Panini,” released on Sept. 5. The music video depicts a dystopian, Blade Runner-esque future in which Lil Nas X is the one and only pop star. Former Disney star Skai Jackson, 17, tries to get a break from this Nas-topia, only to have the rapper personally chase her down, Pepe Le Pew-style.
This cat-and-mouse game takes place on virtual billboards, in alleyways with robot backup dancers, and even on the wing of her plane. No matter what she does, Skai can’t escape Lil Nas X. She also resorts to diving out of the flight, just to get some few precious seconds to herself. Overall, it’s a hilarious take on Nas’s meteoric rise to fame, a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment of how he has dominated pop culture over the past 19-weeks.
Lil Nas X (born Montero Lamar Hill, 20), dropped “Panini” as a single ahead of his debut ep, 7. After “Panini” hit the airwaves/internet, many music publications thought it bore a striking resemblance to “In Bloom,” a track from grunge/rock icons Nirvana. Many said that the chorus contained an interpolation of that of “In Bloom,” but Lil Nas X was like nah. “One of the craziest things about ‘Panini,’ is it introduced me to Nirvana’s album Nevermind,” he said during an interview on Apple Music’s Beats 1, per CNN.
HUGE THANK YOU TO MIKE DIVA AND THE SPECIAL EFFECTS TEAM FOR BRINGING MY VISION TO LIFE!! 🤩🤩🤩
— nope (@LilNasX) September 5, 2019
“It’s like I always seen the cover but I never actually listened to it. And people was like, ‘Wow, he sampled Nirvana.’ I was like, no. It’s like, I didn’t realize I was using almost the exact same melody,” he added. Chalk it up to a pure coincidence, but here’s hoping he partners with Dave Grohl on his next remix.
Lil Nas X gave a preview of the video at the 2019 MTV Music Video Awards. Not only did he poke fun at his never-ending number of “Old Town Road” versions, but he also transformed the set of the awards show into a scene from Tron — or, as it turns out, a scene from this new music video.