Nine Inch Nails have scored their first-ever writing credit on a US number one song, with country rap sensation Lis Nas X helping get them over the lines.
It might sound hard to believe, but despite a career spanning 30 years, and countless albums and singles, Nine Inch Nails have never topped the US singles chart.
Sure, albums like The Fragile and With Teeth topped the albums chart, but their highest-charting single to date is actually 1999’s ‘The Day The World Went Away’ at #17. Now, Lil Nas X has helped change all that, with the group scoring a writing credit on a #1 track.
Recently, there has been plenty said about Atlanta rapper Lil Nas X and his somewhat divisive track ‘Old Town Road’, which was unceremoniously booted from the Billboard charts.
Having hit #19 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for the week of March 16th, the tune was gone by the following week, with the publication noting the song’s inclusion as a “mistake”.
“Upon further review, it was determined that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard‘s country charts,” a spokesperson for Billboard explained to Rolling Stone.
“When determining genres, a few factors are examined, but first and foremost is musical composition.”
While plenty of people tried to determine whether or not the song was indeed a rap track or a country tune, others chalked the removal of the song up to race.
However, following this controversy, the tune has since jumped from the #15 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart to the top placing, taking over from Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’.
Check out Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’:
As Stereogum notes though, ‘Old Town Road’ features a prominent sample of Nine Inch Nails’ 2008 track ’34 Ghost IV’ in the mix.
While Nine Inch Nails’ 2008 record, Ghosts I–IV, was a rather successful release, gaining a couple of Grammy nominations in the process, it didn’t exactly spawn any singles due to its instrumental nature.
Now, with ’34 Ghost IV’ being sampled on the tune, it means that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have scored their first writing credit for a #1 song.
Speaking to Time last week in regards to the song’s removal from the country chart, Lil Nas X denied that ‘Old Town Road’ was created with just one genre in mind.
“The song is country trap,” he explained. “It’s not one, it’s not the other. It’s both. It should be on both.”
“I believe whenever you’re trying something new, it’s always going to get some kind of bad reception,” he continued, downplaying the notion of race being the cause of the song’s removal. “For example, when rap started, or when rock and roll began.”
“But with country trap, I in no way want to take credit for that. I believe Young Thug would be one of the biggest pioneers in that.”