Lil’ Nas X is going from the Old Town Road to the North Pole.
The two-time Grammy Award winner released a festive and futuristic music video on Friday the 13th for his first single in over a year — the holiday-themed and aptly titled “Holiday.” In it, the rapper plays several characters, including Jolly Old St. Nicholas 200 years into the future.
After just 10 hours on YouTube, the music video racked up more than 700,000 views. Though several naughty references will probably exclude it from the traditional Bing Crosby-Mariah Carey holiday playlists for family Christmas dinners. Lil’ Nas X does, however, score points with gay and Black listeners for celebrating his trailblazing success.
“Nobody tried to let me in, nobody opened doors,” he raps, appearing to refer to the lack of initial support for “Old Town Road” by the country music industry and the backlash from the hip-hop community after he came out.
“Why do people act like Lil’ Nas X being a black gay rapper isn’t a big deal? It most definitely is,” one fan wrote Twitter after the release of “Holiday.”
Lil’ Nas X has upped his holiday game this year: He made headlines just last month for dressing up as Nicki Minaj for Halloween.
Last year, on the last day of June, Pride Month — and while “Old Town Road” sat at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for its third month — Lil’ Nas X came out as gay, tweeting: “some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure.”
In the song “C7osure,” Lil’ Nas X explains that he is tired of hiding who he is.
He then shared another tweet later that same day of his album cover, zooming into a rainbow building in the image. “Deada– thought i made it obvious,” he wrote.
Many high-profile celebrities and politicians, including Dwyane Wade, Pete Buttigieg, Diplo and Tamar Braxton, praised Lil’ Nas X for coming out, and his unapologetic public persona continues to inspire and thrill fans and break records.
Last summer, Time magazine named Lil’ Nas X one of the 25 most influential people on the internet for his “global impact on social media” and “overall ability to drive news.” And on the success of “Old Town Road,” Lil’ Nas X became the first openly LGBTQ performer to be listed by Forbes in its annual list of highest-paid country acts; to win a Country Music Association award; to win a MTV Video Music Award for song of the year; and to have a song last over 15 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, beating out Elton John’s single “Candle in the Wind 1997.”
“Old Town Road” spent 19 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the longest-running No. 1 song since the chart debuted in 1958.