“I’m gonna take my startup down to Sand Hill Rd, I’m gonna raise till I can’t no mo,” begins LJ Erwin’s “Sand Hill Road,” a remixed version of Lil Nas X’s chart-topping hit “Old Town Road.” He released the song on Twitter and YouTube on Tuesday.
According to LJ, who works at Google Cloud for Startups and was previously a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, the tech-themed ode to Old Town Road started as a fun weekend project while he was brainstorming a Hamilton-style hip-hop parody rap about Silicon Valley.
Inspired by a teen bumping Old Town Road on a Bird scooter (true story), LJ put pen to paper. Lyrics like “iWatch matted black, got the Allbird’s black to match” and “I’mma 2x founder, Soylent in my bladder“ came flooding out. While the project started in jest, LJ decided to produce the song — raps, chorus, singing and all — for a worthy cause. “Lil Nas X and what he represents inspires me. He recently opened up about his sexuality, which sparked diversity discussions in both hip-hop and country music industries alike.
I hope that any buzz generated from “Sand Hill Road (The Remix)” can be used to highlight organizations that are impacting diversity and inclusion in tech, such as Code2040, Girls Who Code, Kapor Center, dev/color, Black & Brown Founders, Lesbians Who Tech, Techqueria and AnitaB.org. The new artist path closely parallels that of an early-stage founder, who is also on a mission to transform their vision into reality, despite the odds. Although this project started as a writing challenge, I hope the song becomes a rally anthem for founders.“
Read the full story and listen to Sand Hill Road (The Remix) here. Official lyrics included.
LJ Eriwin is the Program Lead, Google Cloud for Startups