If anyone was discounting Lil Nas X as a one hit wonder, “Panini” is proof enough that he can at least be upgraded to a two-hit wonder. “Panini,” the follow-up to Lil Nas’ record-obliterating “Old Town Road,” is less Blake Shelton and more Travis Scott.
Over a skittering trap foundation that is accented by a hollow whistle and bouncy synths, Lil Nas sing-raps about his massive success and newfound fame. The sing-song flow is a perfect match for the childish lyrics. The lyrics are childish in the sense that they are simple, but that simplicity is effective. Not many people can relate to having their first single break nearly every streaming record in existence and stay at #1 for 11 consecutive weeks. Nevertheless, most people can relate to doubters and detractors which is what makes the song’s simplicity so important.
The highlight of the “Panini” is the little rock breakdown during what could be called the chorus. As Lil Nas sings “just say to me what you from me,” the drums kick in with a slight hint of cymbals; think of a mashup of Post Malone and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“Panini” shifts between rap, rock, and pop with an unsettling ease confirming what we already knew: Lil Nas X refuses to be defined as or confined to a single genre. The only downfall of “Panini” is that Lil Nas sounds a little bit too similar to Travis Scott. With more complex lyrics and a darker tone, this could have been an unreleased track from Travis.