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Lil Nas X Likes ‘Kick It’ Better Than ‘Old Town Road,’ So We Asked How It Was Made

Music producer Bizness Boi tells us all about working with the viral 20-year-old breakout star of 2019

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Bizness Boi and Lil Nas X. / Bizness Boi

Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” has been the biggest song for more than three months straight—it’s on the verge of tying the record for most weeks (16) at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100—and it will surely be immortalized in the summer memories of the TikTok generation who catapulted the 20-year-old iconoclastic artist from trolling obscurity to world domination. It may forever be millions of people’s favorite song.

 

Lil Nas X isn’t one of those people.

His favorite song, “Kick It” from his debut EP 7, never stays the same for too long, just like its creator. One minute, he’s crooning about someone else running to him to get weed over sparse drums and a distorted vocal track, and the next minute he’s singing over string arrangements fit for a Hans Zimmer score. Before you hear Lil Nas X’s voice, producer Bizness Boi, is the first name you hear. The successful producer—who has worked with 6Lack, J. Cole’s Dreamville and a litany of other hit makers—spoke with ONE37pm about making “Kick It,” trolls and Lil Nas X’s upcoming album.

How did you initially connect with Lil Nas X?

 

Bizness Boi: My manager, James Supreme, would set up a meeting and sessions for me while I was out in New York City. We pulled up to Columbia [Records], and Wes [Donehower]—Lil Nas X’s A&R—asked if I wanted to work with this artist named Lil Nas X. I was like, “I’m most definitely down to work with him.” We got in the studio that Saturday [April 6] after the “Old Town Road” remix with Billy Ray Cyrus dropped.

 

How did the “Kick It” beat get made?


Bizness Boi: Fwdslxsh and I already had the beat, but it was more for an R&B artist or a pop artist. Then [Lil Nas X] was like, “Can we redo the drums?” Fwdslxsh was in London at the time, so I scrapped everything, kept the sample, built the drums and Lil Nas X was right there helping me along the way. He was giving his opinion and was very hands-on. Every second of the way he was right there like, “Oh, I like that hi-hat. I like that snare. You should have the 808s follow my voice.” If you hear the song, on certain parts, the 808s go crazy and follow his voice. The sax was his idea. The breakdown was his idea.

How long did it take for you and Lil Nas X to make the song?

 

Bizness Boi: We made the beat, and once we got the beat to the point where he could write to it, he did the hook first. He took a little break, came back and was like, “I want to do these melodies with the track.” Then he finished writing the lyrics. I would say it took a total of three to four hours to record and write the song. I knew I’d be on the EP about three weeks before the EP dropped. 

 

Lil Nas X said “Kick It” is his favorite song he’s ever made. Did he have that same energy in the studio?

 

Bizness Boi: Once we finished the song he was like, “This is my favorite song ever.” At the time I was like, “That’s crazy. You have the No. 1 song in the world.” He also already had “Panini” and all these other records. It was surprising. It feels good to know that it’s his favorite. He’s tweeting about it. Under a post I put up about the song, he said, “This is my favorite song.” I think he wants to shoot a video for it. 

What was the most impressive thing you saw Lil Nas X do in the studio?

 

Bizness Boi: His creativity. Hearing “Old Town Road” and the stuff he comes up with, it’s really catchy and he doesn’t sound like anybody else. 

 

What is he like in the studio? He’s a master of trolling online. 

 

Bizness Boi: He’s a young dude enjoying life. He gives off good vibes and not trying to have negativity. He’s a young black man with the No. 1 song and he’s just enjoying it. He’s from a different generation, so trolling, I think, came from the fact that he grew up in the internet. He knows people are going to react to it.

Sometimes Lil Nas X doesn’t want to have guitars because he doesn’t want to try to make ‘Old Town Road’ twice.

- Bizness Boi, music producer

How close have y’all gotten since that session?

 

Bizness Boi: Oh, we’re friends now. Even people at the label tell “Yo, he really rocks with you, Biz.” I check up on him, he hits me up, and we’re talking about working together again for his album. Out of all the sessions, we got really cool. We’re always chopping it up. He’s just letting the EP breathe and then we’re going to work on that album. I already knew he was making an album, but he wanted to release the EP first. 

 

Has Lil Nas X told you what sound he wants for his new album?

 

Bizness Boi: You never know with him. Sometimes he doesn’t want to have guitars because he doesn’t want to try to make “Old Town Road” twice.

 

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