Trent Reznor Addresses Lil Nas X Using A Nine Inch Nails Sample
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor is finally talking about how it felt when he first heard his sample in Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.”
“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 recently.”It feels strange at first. But I thought he did a good job with that.”
Even though a lot of Lil Nas X’s fans might not know that the record-breaking song samples Nine Inch Nail’s 2008 track “34 Ghosts IV,” Reznor and his frequent collaborator Atticus Ross are both credited as songwriters on “Old Town Road.” Shortly after the song received a CMA nomination, Trent Reznor responded with an amusing Instagram post: a photo of his and Ross’ faces photoshopped onto the bodies of country duo Brooks & Dunn.
So, Reznor has definitely acknowledged his involvement in the breakout single, but never publicly addressed the sample until this recent Rolling Stone piece.
“The reason I haven’t stepped in to comment anything about it is, I don’t feel it’s my place to play any kind of social critic to that,” he explained. “It was a material that was used in a significant way and it turned into something that became something else, and those guys should be the ones the spotlight is on…. They asked if I wanted to do a cameo in the video, and it was flattering, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t feel like it’s my place to shine a light on me for that. I say that with complete respect. Having been listed on the credits of the all-time, Number One whatever-the-fuck-it-is wasn’t something…I didn’t see that one coming,” Reznor continued. “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.”
It makes sense that the Nine Inch Nails frontman is okay with the song–it had to be a pretty big payday for him. But regardless, it’s nice to see an established artist embrace someone in the new class.