Lil Nas X will seek to surpass his viral star status when he drops his debut EP, 7, tomorrow (June 21st). The “Old Town Road” rapper is letting us know that he’s not just a one trick pony with his first new music since breaking Billboard, “Panini”, which — get this — credits Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain as a co-writer.
Now, the cynic in me wants to bemoan the fact that a guy who literally tried to make a viral song is now hitching his wagon to an iconic rockstar for more attention, but here’s the thing… “Panini” doesn’t completely suck. With a slight interpolating of Cobain’s vocal melody from the “In Bloom” chorus, the track is a pretty straightforward trap pop cut. It’s all synth and autotune, but that hook is catchy enough to suggest Lil Nas X is perhaps more than just a yeehaw moment.
Though, if my cynic side was going to take over, it could probably find ample fuel in the fact that Lil Nas X told Zane Lowe on Apple Beats 1 that he didn’t even know his hook sounded like Cobain’s:
“One of the craziest things about ‘Panini’ is it introduced me to Nirvana’s album Nevermind. 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.”
So is it “cool” that he sampled a classic rock track, or stupid that he gives it credit despite never having heard it? Take a listen via the digital graphics-heavy visual below and decide for yourself.
Lil Nas X’s 7 drops June 21st via Columbia Records. There’s no word on if anyone else like Kurt Cobain gets a surprise writing credit, but OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder appears on the track “Bring U Down”. And of course, Billy Ray Cyrus rides along for the “Old Town Road” remix.