Lil Nas X Says it was his 'Duty' to Come Out During 'Old Town Road' Popularity

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday September 30, 2021
Originally published on September 29, 2021

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X  (Source:Instagram / @Lil Nas X)

In a new interview with XXL magazine, Lil Nas X is speaking out about coming out. The "Old Town Road" hitmaker said he felt it was his "duty" to open up to the public about his sexuality during the height of the chart-dominating song's popularity. However, he also said that coming out has proven to be a double edged sword.

On how life has changed since coming out, the rapper shared he still feels excluded from hip-hop music.

"Honestly, I don't feel as respected in hip-hop or many music places in general," Nas X told XXL. "But these are communities that I am a part of, whether people would like it or not. This is something that I wanted to do because, not that my entire album is rap, but there are rap tracks on my album. I am a rapper. I am a pop star. I am a gay artist. But it's like, I belong in these places, you know?"

Rapper Kid Cudi recently commented that Nas X could be the one to break up the "homophobic cloud over hip-hop."

For Nas X, this journey started with his decision to come out.

"I don't think I would have ever came out," he explained. "I honestly felt like it was kind of my duty. Especially if I wanted to move forward. And what I was doing, because authenticity is very real, and I feel like people can see right through that. And that's a part of me."

Worried that his sexuality would overshadow his music, Nas X said he "felt like [my insecurity with my sexuality] was my fear of people judging me for how I would act post-coming out."

"I used to 'like' comments where people were like, 'Oh, I like him, because he's not all in your face about it,'" Nas X said. "And then I realized kind of what that was. It's kind of like when people say, 'Oh, I have a Black friend,' and that kind of sits on everything that have to do with their Black history and culture, whatnot. I'm kind of like, I'm not that person, you know?"

Nas X's debut album Montero entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 2. Songs "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," "Industry Baby," and "Thats What I Want" all reached top 10 status on the Hot 100, while eight other songs on his album additionally found placement on the chart.