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Lil Nas X Used To Be A Tweetdecker

Before the rapper was topping the charts with his viral hit "Old Town Road," he was reportedly going viral a whole other way.

Posted on April 5, 2019, at 5:29 p.m. ET

Lil Nas X / Instagram / Via

Ever since his country-rap song "Old Town Road" took off, Lil Nas X has catapulted to fame.

Even more people hopped right on the "yee haw agenda" after the rapper dropped an absolutely fire remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. But before Lil Nas X was topping the charts with his viral hit, he was going viral a whole other way: tweetdecking.

As New York magazine first reported, the rapper amassed hundreds of thousands of followers using the banned Twitter practice.

Tweetdecking, which BuzzFeed News first reported on, involves artificially inflating tweet engagement through mass-retweeting and other coordinated efforts.

i’m still shook that lil nas x guy was originally that nasmaraj fan account who use to make them scenario threads that went viral and now he’s blocking everyone who mentions that stan account LMFAOOOO finesse of the year i swear he used his clout accordingly

According to New York magazine, Lil Nas X ran the now-suspended account @nasmaraj, which operated as a Nicki Minaj fan account and also posted a variety of viral bait, such as a four-year-old video of a bus monitor being bullied.

In 2017, the account posted that he'd thrown his dog a party "and none of the other owners showed up with their dogs." Obviously, it went massively viral. In fact, BuzzFeed News even wrote about it at the time.

@NasMaraj / Twitter

The tweet, was, of course, not true. There was no Doug the dog, and no poorly attended dog party.

Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, told BuzzFeed News at the time his name was Nasiir Williams. He said he was 17 and lived in Atlanta, which was true of the soon-to-be-famous rapper.

"Williams" said he got the idea from the "Paw Paw" story and the one about the sad pit bull, and that he found the images on Google. He said he posted it because he "was really bored one day."

"I don't know how long I can keep it up before people find my address and forcefully send gifts," he said. "I feel kinda bad."

A spokesperson for the rapper did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to New York magazine that the @nasmaraj account had been suspended for violating Twitter's spam policy. That's the same reason they suspended a ton of tweetdecker accounts last year, including hugely popular accounts like @dory and @girlposts.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.