Lil Nas X Hit ‘Old Town Road’ Is Helping Kids Learn Classical Guitar
Schoolkids in Cleveland are enjoying guitar lessons and getting a taste of classical music education by way of rapper Lil Nas X's massive "Old Town Road," the Nine Inch Nails instrumental refashioned into a country-rap chart-topper that subsequently launched a parade of remixes which shows little sign of stopping.
Take a look at local hip-hop artist Archie Green, who's currently instructing students on classical guitar at the city's Lexington-Bell Community Center, as WEWS-TV reported July 11. He's using "Old Town Road" to show children both performance and composition skills. Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
"We're teaching the kids how to play classical instruments but teaching them hip-hop records, as well as how to write their own lyrics and poetry," Green explained of the educational outreach program.
In the news clip, he's seen reciting his own verse to the smash hit from Lil Nas X, the breakout star who collaborated with country's Billy Ray Cyrus on one "Old Town Road" remix. (Not long after, the rapper looked to Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker for some help on his first EP after becoming a mainstream sensation.)
The inspirational power of "Old Town Road" looms large in transforming students' preconceived notions of classical instruments, Green said. Using a grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and with support from the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society, the kids will perform a concert at Cleveland's Severance Hall this September.
"It's like, if someone wants to pick up a violin, it's no longer looked at [like], 'Oh, that's nerdy' or corny or whatever," the instructor illustrated. "That's really cool, because I learned how to play hip-hop on the violin."
And although Lil Nas X promised no more "Old Town Road" remixes two days ago, many seem to think he'll renege on that vow. As reported by Billboard, both Mariah Carey and Smash Mouth appear to be onboard for future versions should the rapper capitalize on continued hints about new editions of the tune.
In April, rockers Crown the Empire covered the song.
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