Monday Night Sample – Lil Nas X – Old Town Road

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I’m far from a Lil Nas X fan. But this story came as news to me this weekend. Shocked, I had no idea that sample was an Atticus and Reznor riff that was never erased.

rolling stone – When Trent Reznor first heard “Old Town Road”, he was surprised. The song used a short banjo section from “34 Ghosts IV”, a track from Nine Inch Nails’ mostly instrumental 2008 album Ghosts I–IV that Lil Nas X and producer YoungKio had pumped up with trap beats and a chorus. unforgettable. Hearing his music out of context, Reznor’s visceral reaction was less critical than visceral.

“In the beginning, when you hear your stuff morphing into something else, it’s always awkward because it’s something that comes intimately with you in some way,” Reznor told Rolling Stone. He likens it to being surprised to hear the way Johnny Cash turned his slightly gothic Downward Spiral track “Hurt,” which references drug use, into an acoustic country love song. “You feel a little violated, you know?” he’s laughing. “And then you get over that, and you realize it’s become something else, and the Johnny Cash thing is amazing. It’s very flattering.

NIN’s song, “34 Ghosts IV,” was actually included in a beat by Dutch producer YoungKio, which Lil Nas X bought online for $30.

YoungKio said that before he made the beat by interpolating the song NIN, he found it on YouTube.

(Before that, he had never heard of Nine Inch Nails or Trent Reznor…

“Ghosts” was released under a Creative Commons Licensewhich gives “listeners the ability to remix and redistribute the work from a multitude of different formats”

The sample itself was never allowed to appear on the beat YoungKio put up for sale, or the original Lil Nas X song.

“The way it was presented to me originally was that I got a call from my management saying, ‘We got a call from a panicked manager saying they used the sample of something. of Ghosts,'” Reznor recalls. “’They should have cleaned it up, but it didn’t. It is gaining momentum in Spotify’s viral charts. What do you think of that?’ And I said, ‘Look, that’s fine with me. I understand how things are going. They don’t say they haven’t tasted it. Work it out, but don’t be an obstacle to it. I hadn’t heard it yet. Then a few weeks later, I was like, “Holy shit.”

Reznor calls “Old Town Road” “undeniably catchy,” but once it exploded, it took over the phenom. “The reason I haven’t stepped in to comment on anything about this is that I don’t think it’s my place to play a social critical role on this,” he says. “It was material that was used in a meaningful way and turned into something that became something else, and these guys should be the ones that the spotlight is on…. They asked me if I wanted to make an appearance in the video, and it was flattering, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t feel like it’s up to me to enlighten myself for that. I say that with a full respect.

Still, Reznor is amazed at how the song has become a juggernaut. “Having been listed in the all-time credits, number one, whatever it was, wasn’t something…I didn’t see it coming,” he says. “But the world is full of strange things that happen like that. That’s flattering. But I don’t think it’s my place to step in and congratulate myself for that.

But does he like it? “It stuck in my head long enough,” he says. “Let’s put it this way. »

It’s insane to me what’s allowed and what’s not, and what producers can still get away with.

If you have a suggestion for a good record to showcase, drop it in the comments below.


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