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Chapter 1 chronicles the maker of “Old Town Road” and the elements of the song's creation. After a brief biography of Montero Lamar Hill, aka Lil Nas X—including his Atlanta hip-hop cultural lineage, his early forays into recording, and his growth as an internet savant—the chapter delves into the origin story of “Old Town Road.” Lil Nas X built the song to go viral, and the chapter details include how a teenage Hill found the beat that formed its basis, why he chose cowboy/country music tropes, how the folkways of online comedy and meme culture pervaded the song, and how the rise of the social web proved instrumental in its rapid virality.

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