By Rachel Yang
June 18, 2019 at 08:05 PM EDT
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Grab your Gucci cowboy hat and put the horses in the back; Lil Nas X is riding back into town with some new music.

After dropping numerous teasers and snippets, the “Old Town Road” rapper revealed that his highly anticipated new EP, titled 7, would be released this Friday.

Lil Nas X has experienced an explosive rise this year since the release of his crossover hit, which shook up the rap and country charts. He teamed up with Billy Ray Cyrus for the remix and collaborated with the likes of Vince Staples for the official music video. With a breakout hit under his belt already, expectations are high for his new EP.

Ahead of its release, EW has compiled a rundown of everything we know about so far, from rock anthems to a collaboration with a “genius” musician.

What does the title mean?

In May, a day after the “Old Town Road” music video dropped, Lil Nas X tweeted that his EP 7 would drop the following month. When asked if the title reflected the number of tracks on the project, X hinted that “the number will hold a lot more importance soon.”

What kind of music will be on it?

Last month, Lil Nas X released the names of five of the seven title tracks on 7: “Old Town Road,” “Panini,” “Bring U Down,” “Rodeo,” and “9.” He’s also released snippets of each of the five songs. Given that his breakout track broke the mold of both country and hip-hop, we can expect X to blur the genre lines in his follow-up project. Additionally, with the lyrics that X has dropped, it seems like the project will carry some emotional depth and brooding themes, in addition to club jams.

Back in April, before he announced the EP, the artist tweeted a snippet of a rock-tinged song with the caption, “y’all think they gone let me on the rock charts?”

He also revealed that he worked with famed producer, songwriter, and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder for the song, called “Bring U Down.” When speaking about the track’s theme, X tweeted that it is “from the perspective of people who try to ruin other ppls career when they see them on the rise.” This may be a reference to Billboard’s widely criticized move to remove “Old Town Road” from the country charts for not “embracing” enough of the genre’s elements.

If you thought X was done with country trap, then you haven’t heard “Rodeo,” which he previewed on Twitter and Instagram. The song features Take a Daytrip, the DJ/producer duo with credits on hip-hop hits like Sheck Wes’ thumping “Mo Bamba” and Juice WRLD’s “Legends.” The lyrics hint at discontent between X and an unnamed entity, with the lines “Off we go, don’t leave me in the cold” and “If I took you everywhere, well, you wouldn’t know how to walk.”

A few days after previewing “Rodeo,” X tweeted a teaser video of partygoers dancing to another song, “Panini,” promising that the tripped-out slow jam would be “coming to a club near u!”

Finally, on May 14, X unveiled a taste of his track with Blink 182 frontman Travis Barker, which he revealed in the comments was titled “9.”

What else do we know?

One of the earliest songs X teased was the trap-tinged “Titanic,” and the accompanying video featured an underwater society. Fans were buzzing about its possible inclusion on the EP, but the rapper admitted he “honestly never finished it.” However, he didn’t outright deny its place on the tracklist, so we can still cling to a bit of hope that the bop will be released Friday.

X, who has recently signed to Columbia Records, also debuted the EP’s cover image. The artwork shows the rapper wearing a cowboy hat and riding a horse out of a dark valley and into the bright lights of a big city. He also tagged a slew of artists and collaborators, from Cyrus and “Old Town Road” producer YoungKio to Tedder and producer Boi-1da.

Despite his many reveals, Lil Nas X is still maintaining some mystery around the EP. He hinted that he’s “not allowed” to talk about an artist he worked with for the record, but that he’s “one of my favorite artists ever” and “a legend.”

While many details are still unknown, Lil Nas X is doing a great job of riding his wave until he can’t no more.

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