Believe it or not, Trent Reznor has never clocked a number one hit. He's had a number one album, when the band dropped their seminal double LP The Fragile in 2000, but break it apart and not even close. In fact, the highest charting Nine Inch Nails song ever stands as that record's first single, "The Day The World Went Away", which barely cracked the top 20, peaking at number 17. For the curious, the band's ubiquitous "Closer" only scraped it's way up to number 41. Can't imagine why.
But now, Trent can sleep soundly as he's finally credited on the sort of song he always expected to be a part of, a meme-turned-viral, trap-country smash, that now features Billy Ray Cyrus.
The song in question is "Old Town Road" by rapper Lil Nas X, which initially (read: illegally) sampled the group's least pretentiously titled instrumental cut, "34 Ghosts IV." As the song took off on music app Tik Tok, a bidding war ensued, which likely included paying a handsome sum for the now-hostage sample. NIN's former home, Columbia Records ultimately landing the deal. The rest, as they say, is history.
Despite the fact the song has already reached the top of the mountain, it's tough to say if the track will see any signs of slowing. Already in addition to it's remix featuring BRC, rapper Young Thug, and more are expected to hop on the tune. Hell, we still haven't even been blessed with the song's official video, which Major West himself (Will Smith) has already mentioned his desire to star in.
It's about the least likely trajectory for anything NIN related really, but it's a pretty fascinating testament to the power of the internet in 2019.
Check out both tracks for yourself below, and don't hate yourself for listening to it 400 times. What do you think we've been doing all week?