Lil Nas X Declines Potential Pete Buttigieg Collaboration

The worlds of music and politics did not converge at a BuzzFeed event

Old Town Road cover
Cover art for Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road (Remix)"
Lil Nas X/Columbia Records
By Tobias Carroll / July 27, 2019 11:45 am

Lil Nas X does enjoy a good collaboration. His hit song “Old Town Road” has undergone a host of permutations since it first hit the charts, and remixes featuring everyone from Billy Ray Cyrus to Diplo to RM from South Korean band BTS have drawn even larger audiences to his music. He’s also suggested a collaboration with Dolly Parton, which Parton has suggested she’s up for. Along the way, Lil Nas X has given the impression of someone genuinely thrilled to be in the spotlight, as he turns an undeniably catchy song into a hit across genres. 

But there’s one would-be collaborator with whom Lil Nas X has opted out of working with, and that’s South Bend mayor and Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg doesn’t have the long musical history of his fellow contender for the Democratic nomination Beto O’Rourke, making this news something of a surprise. An article at The Daily Beast has the details: in the planning stages of BuzzFeed’s “Internet Live” event, which occurred earlier this week, the idea of the two working together was raised.

Buttigieg was pitched on a preliminary idea of appearing via video, reciting the lyrics to “Old Town Road” in some form of a collaboration with the surging pop star. But according to sources, the plan was foiled when Lil Nas X rejected the proposal.

Lil Nas X’s reasons for turning down the collaboration? He “told BuzzFeed News that he did not want to be seen as endorsing a particular candidate in the race.” 

The rapper did appear at Thursday’s event to perform a pair of songs: “Old Town Toad” and “Panini.” While Buttigieg was absent, another mayor with eyes on the Democratic nomination did take part — namely, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. Based on Rolling Stone’s report on the event, de Blasio did not take his horse to the old town road; probably a wise decision for all involved.

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