"I grabbed spoons, tambourine, anything I could find that made a nice sound," Brown says. "When I got finished, it was so full of joy. I was doing the dance as I was writing it. I said, 'this is going to be a song that makes people dance and brings joy.'"
As Brown was in the process of prepping his solo music, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” quickly grew from online meme to national sensation, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually spending a record-setting 19 weeks in the top spot. Brown, seeing an opening for this type of fusion between hip-hop and country influences, urged the label to issue “The Git Up” immediately, ahead of the material that was primed to be released ahead of it.
The song arrived in May, immediately took off thanks to a social media-friendly dance challenge, and became a bonafide country hit. With 200.7 million on-demand U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music, it has ruled Hot Country Songs and lingered within the top 20 of the Hot 100.
Brown, who has “enough music for 80 trailer trap records,” is keeping the momentum going. He’s currently preparing a music video for “The Git Up” in Nashville and Watertown, Tenn.; looking forward to an October show with country superstar Kane Brown (no relation); and polishing off a full album, expected to be released before the end of the year
The success of “Old Town Road” put his career on the fast track, but Blanco doesn’t feel like he’s following a trend. He says he’s bridging a gap, and is happy Lil Nas X opened doors to the house he has always lived in.
“Someone asked me a long time ago if I felt like country music is changing,” he says. “I don’t know where it’s going, but I’d love to be a part of it.”