Following the success of his 2019 hit “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X has been doing some reflecting on his decision to come out.
The “Panini” singer, whose debut album Montero recently earned a No. 2 opening on the Billboard 200 with 129,000 equivalent album units moved, was featured in XXL for its fall 2021 issue and spoke on why representation is important in hip-hop and his reasoning behind being transparent about his sexuality.
“I don’t think I would have ever come out,” he shared of the move he made while “Old Town Road” was breaking the record for most weeks ever at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “I honestly felt like it was kind of my duty. Especially if I wanted to move forward. And [with] 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.”
The singer also shared that he had a fear of being judged for how he would act after 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.’ And then I realized kind of what that was,” Nas explained. “It’s kind of like when people say, ‘Oh, I have a Black friend,’ and that kind of sits on everything that has to do with their Black history and culture, whatnot. I’m kind of like, I’m not that person, you know?”