Video Review: Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”

In 1889. three cowboys chase Lil Nas X as he holds a bag of cash. The three cowboys stop. One of the cowboys (Haha Davis) wants to know why. The head cowboy (Chris Rock) replies “when you see a black man on a horse going that fast, you just gotta let him fly.”

A young woman sees Lil Nas X riding his horse as she moves the curtain and says “Daddy?” Billy Ray Cyrus gets off his horse and sits by a house, saying “this should be fine. “He passes his flask to Lil Nas X, telling him that “we’ll settle here for the night.” Lil Nas X shakes his head, and responds, “I don’t know man. The last time I was here they weren’t too welcoming to outsiders.” Cyrus says “you’re with me this time. Everything’s going to be all right.”

The young woman’s father aims his gun at them. As the father shoots, Lil Nas X finds a tunnel and slides in it. He falls in Old Town Road in 2019. An 8-year-old sees Lil Nas X on the grass and says “Mama.”  The people in the neighborhood stare at him while he rides his horse in the street.

He gets off his horse and starts to dance. A teenage girl dances in response. He races a young man (Vince Staples). The young man gives him money and tells him “you cheated. That horse got that V12 but I ain’t going to worry about it.” He asks his friend to “get his children off the animal. That’s his property. We don’t do that.” He pats him on the shoulder, telling him “to have a good day and get off my car.”

He buys new clothes at the Super Mall and smiles as Billy Cyrus pulls up in his vintage car. Cyrus tips his hat to him. He holds his bag of his cash while they drive off. They walk into the community center and see people dressed as cowboys. A fiftysomething woman raises her hand and calls out “Bingo!”

They perform in the community center. A second young man (Diplo) helps them with percussion. The people line dance. A sixtysomething woman poses with him by the Old Town painting.

Back in 1889, the three cowboys comment that Lil Nas X is “long gone.” The head cowboy says “faster than a speeding bullet…with grease on it. Hair grease!”

Rating: 5/5

Lil Nas X points to his card and asks the sixtysomething woman next to him if he won. The sixtysomething woman nods and he raises his hand. His best friend, Billy Ray Cyrus pulls him aside and says he has discovered the tunnel back to 1889. He explains they can leave tonight. Lil Nas X says he wants to stay. The people in the small town have accepted them. Cyrus tells him they’ll have to seal up the tunnel then.

Cyrus sips from his flask and tells him not much has changed since 1889. Lil Nas X says people gasped and scattered when they saw his gun. At the community center, the sixtysomething woman explained to him that her grandchildren had lockdown drills and that a mass shooting occurs almost once a week. Lil Nas X says he sold his gun. Although the Wild West has continued to thrive, he chooses not to be a part of it.

Lil Nas X presses hard on the brake pedal. The red light means stop. It usually forgets it. In the corner of his eye, he sees a police officer pull up behind him. A young man in the surburban neighborhood had given him a rundown of his rights and helped him to practice what to say. He tenses up at the wheel and watches the police car. The police officer changes to another lane and he lets out a sigh. He had forgotten everything he was supposed to remember.

Director: Calmatic Year: 2019

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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