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Lil Nas X
Via Instagram (@lilnasx)

Lil Nas X says he’s a big fan of self-help books

Including, obviously, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

At the end of March, Lil Nas X released his controversial banger, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name”, the video of which sees him lap dance for the devil after sliding down a pole into hell (in PVC knee-high platforms). Now, the rapper has revealed the secret behind the song’s success: self-help books.

“I’ve spent quarantine doing a lot of internal learning, which has helped me a lot,” he told GQ Style in his summer 2021 cover story. “It helped me create this moment.” This internal learning has come from what Lil Nas calls “self-discovery” books, including Keana Henson’s The Rose Effect: Eight Steps to Delivering the Performance of Your Life, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Don Ruiz’s The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, and Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – the latter of which is his favourite.

“It teaches you to block out the things in your life that you don’t really care about,” he continued. “Like, if I read a negative comment or whatever, I get to decide, ‘Is this important to me? Is this true? Is this not true? If it is true, then how do we make it untrue? If it isn’t true, then why the fuck do we care?’”

The rapper credits the books with helping him rebuild his self-confidence “to a whole new level”. He added: “I’m learning more and being more attuned to the universe.”

On the topic of personal growth, Lil Nas also revealed that he spent the beginning of lockdown “killing off” his jealousy – namely: accepting his loss for Record of the Year at the 2020 Grammys (the accolate went to Billie Eilish instead). “I put all that energy I was feeling onto her,” he said of the night. “It became jealousy that wasn’t warranted.” The rapper added that reflecting on his own successes – “You have the longest-running number one song, why the fuck are you jealous about this award?” – and just feeling “blessed” to “exist” helped him overcome his envy. 

Read Lil Nas X’s full GQ Style interview here.