Published Oct 25, 2019Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" was crowned the longest running No. 1 song in chart history this summer. The track spawned countless remixes, memes, and arguably a new genre of music. While Lil Nas X has been vocal about his rise to fame and the song's virality, its most notable credited artist has remained silent — until now.
Trent Reznor and his collaborator Atticus Ross are credited for their contributions to "Old Town Road" for the song's sample of Nine Inch Nails' "34 Ghost IV," and Reznor has remained strangely quiet on the viral hit up until a new interview with Rolling Stone published today.
In the interview, Reznor spoke about witnessing the song's rise and his initial feelings about being sampled by Lil Nas X, saying that, at first, he felt "violated."
"At first, when you hear your stuff turned into something else, it always feels awkward because it's something that intimately came from you in some way," Reznor told Rolling Stone. "You feel a little bit violated, you know? And then you get over that, and you realize it has become something else, and the Johnny Cash thing is incredible. It's very flattering.
"The music from Ghosts that turned into 'Old Town Road' certainly didn't come from as intimate a place as the song 'Hurt' did, but it's still something that I remember what I was thinking about when we did it and then you hear it turned into this other thing — it feels strange at first. But I thought he did a good job with that."
Of all people, Reznor himself was blindsided by the success of "Old Town Road."
"Having been listed on the credits of the all-time, No. 1 whatever-the-fuck-it-is wasn't something…I didn't see that one coming," he said. "But the world is full of weird things that happen like that. It's flattering. But I don't feel it's for me to step in there and pat myself on the back for that."
Listen to Nine Inch Nails' "34 Ghost IV" and Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" below.