Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman wants Lil Nas X to know he’s rooting for him.
This week, Lil Nas’ “Old Town Road” topped Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey’s 1995 ballad “One Sweet Day” as the longest-running No. 1 single in Billboard Hot 100 history. The legendary R&B group held or tied for the record three different times, with “End of the Road” at 13 weeks in 1992, “I’ll Make Love to You” at 14 weeks in 1994, and, of course, with “One Sweet Day,” which boasted the record of 16 weeks atop the Hot 100 for over two decades.
And after seeing some close calls, and having Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Justin Bieber-featuring “Despacito” remix match the record when it also reigned for 16 weeks in 2017, Stockman isn’t surprised that Lil Nas’ breakout hit was able to finally beat out “One Sweet Day.”
“It makes sense that ‘Old Town Road’ did what it did,” Stockman says. “It’s the biggest song of the year… I congratulate Lil Nas X. Dude, congrats.”
Now that it’s achieved Hot 100 immortality, Stockman wonders if the song will fare better at the Grammys than his 16-week No. 1 did. He recalls Boyz II Men and Carey’s “One Sweet Day,” being shut out at the 1996 Grammys, losing both nominations for record of the year and best pop collaboration with vocals, despite being the longest-running chart-topper of its era.
“What I’ve noticed is that — as great as [“Old Town Road”] is — most of the time records that reach that level of success, with the exception of maybe ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston, never win Grammys.”
Stockman says he was impressed that Lil Nas X was able to pull off the Hot 100 feat, and notes that if Boyz II Men had the help of the Internet in 1995, the group’s endurance on the charts would be “crazy.” Still, he said he hopes the young rapper can grow beyond the success of “Old Town Road” and take some trophies home with him come award season. “I hope that he wins an award that helps him go beyond that success,” Stockman says. “It’s going to be pretty hard. And I say that based on experience.”
Mostly, Stockman hopes Lil Nas X is able to achieve longevity in the music world. “I hope that if this is what you want to continue to do, [you] have people around you that can help you develop into being [what you want], or you might be considered as a one-hit wonder,” he says of the viral phenom. “I hope that you’re able to transcend even beyond ‘Old Town Road.’ That’s what I wish him.”