The country/trap crossover tune became the longest serving #1 in the history of Billboard‘s charts in the US this year, and takes a short sample of banjo from NIN track ’34 Ghosts IV’.
After only kind of acknowledging the fact that he, being listed on the song’s credits, was up for a country music award earlier this year, Reznor has finally properly addressed the use of the sample.
“At first, when you hear your stuff turned into something else, it always feels awkward because it’s something that intimately came from you in some way,” he told Rolling Stone. “You feel a little bit violated, you know?”
He admitted that while Lil Nas X didn’t clear the use of the track, he was fine with being listed on the credits of ‘Old Town Road’.
“I said, ‘Look, I’m fine with it. I get how stuff goes. They’re not saying they didn’t sample it. Just work it out, but don’t be a roadblock to this,” he said.
Reznor also explained the reason he hasn’t commented previously is because he didn’t feel like it was his place “to shine a light on it.”
“But the world is full of weird things that happen like that. It’s flattering. But I don’t feel it’s for me to step in there and pat myself on the back for that.”
Have a listen to ‘Ghosts IV’ and ‘Old Town Road’ below: