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Lil Nas X Interpolates Nirvana For “Panini” and Wins… Again

Lil Nas X Panini

Lil Nas X continues to strike the right chord by revealing how politically aware he is about the magnitude of this moment. After his first mega-hit single “Old Town Road” spent a record-breaking 19 weeks at the top of the Billboard Charts, the rapper decided to release the official music video for “Panini.” The Ready Player One meets Blade Runner themed project is directed by Mike Diva and features former Disney star, Skai Jackson.

The video acknowledges Lil Nas’s rise to stardom, then proceeds to dismantle fame and its ubiquity through the eyes of a worn-out or fairweather fan, played to perfection by Jackson, reminding us that eventually, we all get star fatigue. It’s also rife with meme and gif opportunities, galore. By doing this, Lil Nas takes a page out of Drake’s playbook for “Hotline Bling,” and brilliantly captures the paradox of celebrity culture while articulating his place within it in just two and a half minutes. Additionally, the song interpolates Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” which is heralded as one of the most genius songs ever written about fairweather fans who are known to miss the true meaning of a songwriter’s lyrics because the tune is catchy.

It has been widely reported that Lil Nas X was unaware of the sampling of the Nirvana melody for “Panini” when he created it, but in a clever move, sought and received approval from Francis Bean Cobain to use it, and now the song features a credit to her father, Kurt.

What a time to be alive.

And if you’re looking for a chuckle, here’s Lil Nas’s tongue in cheek response to the meaning of the video:

The release of “Panini” (currently up to 7.4M views on YouTube) comes on the heels of a recent appearance on HBO’s “The Shop,” where Lil Nas gracefully deals with pushback from comedian Kevin Hart, in order to deliver a raw and honest answer about his decision to come out at the time he did.

It is truly a testament to the thoughtful consideration of an artist whose maturity is blossoming before our very eyes. Lil Nas X is constantly taking it next level.

Everyone else, take note.

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