2019 MTV VMAs: Lil Nas X Delivers Cyberpunk-Inspired 'Panini' Performance

Forget the horses in the back — Lil Nas X brought something even cooler to the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. 

The "Old Town Road" mastermind took the stage during the VMAs on Monday, August 26 to deliver a cyberpunk-inspired performance of his track "Panini" — the second single off his debut EP 7, which launched at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in June 2019. 

Looking like a character out of Tron or someone who should have been in the iconic Disney Channel Original Movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, Lil Nas X donned a shiny white outfit that glistened with silver and blue tones when it caught the light. He kept the futuristic theme going in his make-up, which evoked some robot-disco-ball-Transformer vibes. Flanked by buildings straight out of a live-action Akira adaptation and with neon lights bouncing off the MTV VMAs stage, Lil Nas X was high energy as he took the audiences on a trip to the year 2079, in which he imagines himself as the President of the United States. His many back-up dancers, wearing interesting make-up and black suits embellished with fuchsia light strips, added another layer of fun to the "Panini" performance. 

"Panini" may not be Lil Nas X's most popular track ever — that's of course reserved for the repeatedly remixed "Old Town Road," which has evolved beyond the parameters of mere music and into a full-blown cultural moment — but it's certainly just as catchy. The beat is infectious and the lyrics are total ear candy — making for a perfect (and non-obvious) pick for this year's VMAs. 

Though we can't say for sure whether Lil Nas X (whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill) will one day become the Commander in Chief, this performance at the 2019 MTV VMAs gives us confidence that if he ever does take the Oval Office in 2079, he'll ensure the people of America have a lot of fun and plenty of songs to jam to.