“Old Town Road” Proves TikTok Can Launch a Hit Song

Montero “Lil Nas X” Hill’s parents were concerned when their son dropped out of college eight months ago to pursue a career in rap; as the country trap star told Time Magazine, his parents succinctly pointed out there are millions of rappers already crowding the scene. Hill didn’t listen. He had to compete with up-and-coming rappers on streaming services like SoundCloud and Spotify, but Hill had a secret card up his sleeve — a meme and TikTok.

“I promoted the song as a meme for months until it caught on to TikTok and it became way bigger,” Hill told Time. “I was pretty familiar with TikTok: I always thought its videos would be ironically hilarious. When I became a trending topic on there, it was a crazy moment for me. A lot of people will try to downplay it, but I saw it as something bigger.”

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