This article originally appeared on VICE US
Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is yet again the No. 1 in America—but this time, it’s an even more historic feat. With its now 17th week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, it broke the record for the longest streak of chart dominance ever, beating both 1995’s Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men collaboration “One Sweet Day” and 2017’s Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee global phenomenon “Despacito.” It’s an astounding accomplishment for the 20-year-old rapper, especially considering that his stratospheric rise is so unlikely.
By now, the origin story of “Old Town Road” is familiar. A then-teen Montero Lamar Hill uploaded a Nine Inch Nails-sampling track to YouTube and Soundcloud. The song found life on the popular lip-sync app Tik-Tok. Because it was labeled as "country," it quickly climbed the genre charts before Billboard infamously removed it. The controversy led to a Billy Ray Cyrus remix, and three other official remixes, the most recent one being a collaboration between Lil Nas X and RM of the K-Pop group BTS titled "Seoul Town Road." Because Billboard counts the streams and downloads from both official remixes and the original song in its chart calculations, this partially accounts for the enduring success of the single.
In any case, after 24 years, it's nice that there's a new record-holder. At least Lil Nas X said he'd buy Carey flowers if he beat her streak. Listen to "Seoul Town Road" below.