Musical artist Lil Nas X first burst onto the mainstream music scene in 2019 with his smash hit “Old Town Road.” Since then, the 21-year-old has been breaking barriers in both country and rap genres, while also evolving into an icon.
Near the end of Pride Month last year, Lil Nas X came out as gay on Twitter, as Blavity previously reported.
Fans of the rapper/singer celebrated his courage and for being an artist at the intersection of two music genres each marred by their propensity for homophobia and restrictive views on identity.
In an episode of Apple Music’s #AtHomeWithAppleMusic, The “Panini” rapper sat down with host Zane Lowe and shared that queer artists like Frank Ocean and Tyler The Creator helped him find the inspiration to reveal his truth to the world.
"I think artists like Frank in general and, like, Tyler and whatever, they made it easier for me to be where I am, comfortably," Lil Nas X said before complimenting Ocean’s earlier work. "Also 'Provider' was a very special song to me during this relationship I was in. So yeah, go Frank, he's amazing."
The Georgia native said that he felt like it was the right time to come out last year and take living his life to the “next level.”
"I was just getting signs, 'OK. It's time we do this thing.' Because it's like I'm already moving forward and I'm becoming more free with everything I do, so let's take this to the next level and do this," he said during the interview. "Because I mean, it was either going to be that or what? Pretend this for the rest of my entire life?”
The “Rodeo” artist also revealed that he nearly had cold feet the day before he came out, but later realized the gravity of his announcement and how it could help his fans.
“But that's another reason why I knew that I had to do it. Because the day before I was like, 'Damn, should I really do this? Is this what...' And I'm like, 'No, this is definitely what I should do.' Especially given my platform, where I am, the communities that I stand in between. It's like little s**t like this shouldn't be a problem,” he said.
Later in the conversation, Lil Nas X touched on his highly-anticipated debut studio album. While he said it’ll be more personal than his previous EP, the singer promised to deliver "bop after f**king bop."
"You have no idea. There's so many people I've been working with," he said. “I will say about this album though, I kept features to a minimum. I just feel like I really want to give people me and just me on some of these, because I feel like, especially with singles last time, I always followed up with a feature or a remix."
As Blavity previously reported, the 21-year-old released images last month from a holiday-themed photo shoot that portrayed him making out with himself. While many fans were supportive of the photo, Georgia Republican candidate Angela Stanton King, who lost her election, bashed the rapper, suggesting that he was illustrating a sexual interest in himself and questioned if the depiction is healthy for Black youth.
“So this is what black culture is pushing to our youth now? Sex with everything and everyone including yourself?” King wrote in a tweet.
The platinum-selling artist’s eventual retort was shared even more than the viral holiday photo; “just say ur turned on and go,” he wrote.