If you know one thing about Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” it’s that the single borrows from both rap and country. But in recent months, artists have been drawing less obvious connections between the runaway hit and styles of music from around the world.
Take afrobeats producer DJ Tunez, who segued from Nigerian pop to “Old Town Road” at a Burna Boy show in Brooklyn earlier this month — no one batted an eye. The Brazilian artists MC Jottapê, MC M10, and DJ RD released “Sentou e Gostou,” their own tribute to Lil Nas X’s hit, which melds the track’s signature banjo lick with the driving, syncopated beat of baile funk. And the Brazilian producer Omulu prefers a different baile funk remix of “Old Town Road,” which he played at a recent Brooklyn show.
“Sentou e Gostou” is now becoming a hit in its own right. The track has amassed more than 30 million views on YouTube since June, and the single debuted at Number Four on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 on July 29.
Much like the video for “Old Town Road,” the “Sentou e Gostou” clip plays on the perceived divides between urban and rural. MC Jottapê and MC M10 fall through a magic manhole and end up in the countryside decked out in cowboy gear. Out in the country, they make women swoon — one actress actually faints, barely hiding a smile as she does so — and show off their line-dancing.
The “Sentou e Gostou” video appeared on the YouTube channel Kondzilla, which has more than 50 million subscribers, making it one of the top ten most popular YouTube channels on the planet. Kondzilla has played an important role in launching previous baile funk hits, most notably MC Fioti’s “Bum Bum Tam Tam,” which earned a remix with Future and J Balvin and became the first ever baile funk video to amass a billion views. “[In the past, baile] funk didn’t have video clips well made,” the artist João Brasil said last year. “The guy who revolutionized that was Kondzilla.”