The performance opened with a cheeky bit that imagined a future where Lil Nas X was not only President of the United States of America, but releasing the 3,162nd remix of “Old Town Road,” featuring artists like Young Sandwich, the Ghost of Benjamin Franklin and Old Thug. After a snippet of “Old Town Road,” the rapper launched into “Panini,” embracing a Tron-like aesthetic as he lip synced to the tune and moved through some intricate choreography with a cadre of back-up dancer.
“Old Town Road” has spent the spring and summer dominating the charts, achieving over 1 billion streams and is currently Number Eight on the Rolling Stone Top 100. “Panini” hasn’t achieved that level of success, but did introduce Nas to Nirvana, who admitted he had never listened to Nevermind before interpolating his song with “In Bloom.”
“It was the first song I genuinely formulated,” Nas said of “Old Town Road” to Rolling Stone. “I was like, ‘I gotta make it short, I gotta make it catchy, I gotta have quotable lines that people want to use as captions.’ Especially with the ‘horses in the back’ line, I was like, ‘This is something people are gonna say every day.’”
The rapper is scheduled to perform at New York’s Rooftop at Pier 17 on Thursday. On October 17th, he’ll perform at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Canada with fellow cowboy Billy Ray Cyrus.