“7” Review: Lil Nas X drops captivating debut project

If you’ve been anywhere near a radio for the past few months, you’ve most likely heard “Old Town Road” or its several remixes at least once. You may not know who Lil Nas X was before hearing the song, but honestly who did?

He got his first taste of fame on Twitter by running Nicki Minaj fan accounts and also creating Vines and TikTok videos. He released “Old Town Road” in late 2018 and it began picking up steam in early 2019. By April 2019, it had a remix with legendary country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and had broken Drake’s record of most streams in one week with over 140 million.

Once he began gaining social media followers like crazy, Nas began posting snippets of his new songs all over Instagram. This made fans want to hear what else he could do. Without further adieu, it’s time to see what Lil Nas X can bring to the table on his first official project.   

First impressions

  • The Good: On my first listen through this EP, I was actually surprised at how versatile Lil Nas was one most of the tracks. It makes for an interesting listen especially because I expected him to stick to the country rap fusion for the whole project honestly.  
  • The Bad: Even though I do think the songs were pretty good and different sounding, the lyrics were kind of bland. No songs really stood out from the others in terms of what they actually talked about.  

Lyrics/Flow

  • The Good: One of the things I appreciate most about this project is Lil Nas X’s voice. He has a great singing voice and a decent rapping flow from what I can tell. We didn’t get to see too much rapping from him but what we did see wasn’t bad at all. He has a lot of potential in that regard and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes with rap in the future.  
  • The Bad: As I said before, each song sounded different in terms of sonic elements but not much else. The lyrics were pretty lackluster and forgettable, with the exception of the hyped up “Panini” and “Rodeo”.  
  • Score: 6.8/10

Beats

  • The Good: Another good part about the project was honestly the beats. They were all pretty different and actually pleasing to the ears. Nas’ voice works pretty well on different production and I would encourage him to continue breaking new ground on his debut album. Producers on this EP include Take A Daytrip, Young Kio, Business Boi, and Boi-1da.
  • The Bad: I don’t have anything bad to say about the beats on this project. As I mentioned, Nas flows really well on all the tracks whether he’s singing or rapping. This was just a little taste of what we’ll see from him in the future, so hopefully he can still choose beats he sounds good over.
  • Score: 8.3/10

Replayability

  • The Good: Being that this project is an EP, it is quite easy to listen to all the way through. It is only 18 minutes over 7 tracks, so I would definitely suggest multiple listens in order to digest it fully. I’ll be revisiting this project in the future simply due to the fact that it has so many different sounds on it and it is so short.  
  • The Bad: As with many EPs, it just feels like a random collection of songs. Including “Old Town Road” twice really bloats the project a bit, but I can understand why he did it. I’m hoping he’ll go for more of a concept on his album, but we’ll see when that arrives.   
  • Score: 7.5/10

Standouts

  • Being that this EP is quite short and has a variety of different sounds, it was quite hard to choose songs that stand out from the rest. My personal favorite tracks on the EP were “Panini” and “Bring U Down” but I’d say to listen to the whole thing because it’s so short.  

Final thoughts

As with most music fans, I didn’t really take Lil Nas X very seriously after first hearing “Old Town Road”. I thought it was just another meme song that would be dead within a few weeks, just like all of the others before it. Obviously that didn’t happen and Nas is really out here with a number one Billboard hit that is about to tie the all time record for most weeks at the top.

Once Lil Nas X announced this EP, I was actually pretty excited to see what he could bring to the table. I heard the “Panini” and “Rodeo” snippets when he previewed them on Instagram and was impressed, but I didn’t hear any of his other snippets.

After listening to the full EP more than a few times, I can say that I’m impressed with what Lil Nas X has given us here. It isn’t perfect by any means, but it is a good start to a hopefully prosperous career for him. He showed us that he’s really with the multiple genre music creation and that it actually works for him. Lil Nas X isn’t just a meme and I think he’s here to stay, at least for a little bit. If you like what you heard from his EP, be on the lookout for his debut album coming soon.    

Final Score: 7.3/10    

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