Lil Nas X finally took off his cowboy hat.
After months of teasing the drop of his next single, "Panini," he finally did it—the day before his EP 7's release. Accompanied by a futuristic music video, "Panini" is a heel turn from the chart-topping "Old Town Road."
Lil Nas X - Panini (Official Audio) www.youtube.com
The lean one minute and fifty-five-second song bops just enough to earn a place on playlists for summertime drives. With a chorus that interpolates Nirvana's "In Bloom," "Panini" seems rushed in order for Lil Nas X to have something to say and a way to say it; in the chorus he directly says, "Say to me / What you really want from me."
Unfortunately, that's a hard plea to answer. After the success of "Old Town Road," many had no idea where he'd go, and judging by "Panini," it seems like he doesn't know either. While the genre-bending artist exploded this past spring and showed prowess in his debut single, on "Panini" he's measured—maybe even cautious. The song may be catchy, but the production is elusive and repetitive, overbearingly so.
This time around, there's no question what Billboard chart "Panini" will be categorized under: rap. Travis Scott's influence on Lil Nas X is front and center with the song's smooth, futuristic production. However, on "Panini," Lil Nas X fails to be as imaginative as he was in its predecessor. He's unfortunately struggling to keep up with expectations to create something new. That's not to say Lil Nas X is a one-hit wonder, but on "Panini" he's only skimming the surface of his potential.