This is a real story. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails won a Country Music Award for the country rap hit ‘Old Town Road’ , which features a sample of NIN’s “34 Ghosts IV”, nabbed the trophy for Musical Event of the Year, beating out folks like Blake Shelton, Maren Morris, and Garth Brooks. The Lil Nas song was everywhere over the last year, but it’s a little known fact that part of the song is built around an deep cut by Reznor and company. Consequence of Sound reported that the award was not featured on last night’s broadcast of the award show on ABC, but rather online earlier in the day.
Reznor spoke to Rolling Stone about the song utilizing a sample of his work. “It was a material that was used in a significant way and it turned into something that became something else, and those guys should be the ones the spotlight is on….” Reznor added, explaining why he and Ross decided not to comment sooner. “They asked if I wanted to do a cameo in the video, and it was flattering, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t feel like it’s my place to shine a light on me for that. I say that with complete respect.”
Reznor joked about the odd award win on IG.
Youtube channel Gardnsound covers the whole story of how songs can be sampled, specifically how Li’ Nas and his team was able to legally do this indirect collaboration.