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Lil Nas X – autumn 2019 8
Lil Nas X wears bespoke signature hat Coach × Matty Bovan by Stephen Jones, signature shearling plaid jacket Coach 1941, earrings worn throughout Lil Nas’s ownPhotography Charlotte Wales, styling Tom Guinness

Lil Nas X says he’ll return to ‘cowboy era’ after his ‘gay era’ is over

The rapper, who rose to fame from country-trap hit ‘Old Town Road’, is currently working on his debut album MONTERO

Over the weekend (August 6), Lil Nas X hinted at a return to his country music roots.

Taking to Twitter, the rapper stated: “After I drop the album I will be finish with my gay era and returning to my cowboy era.” 

Lil Nas X originally rose to fame in 2018 from his country-trap single “Old Town Road”, which became the longest-running number one song in US chart history. After dropping multiple remixes – including the most popular which featured country music artist Billy Ray Cyrus – the musician released tracks “Panini” and “Rodeo”. 

However, gearing up for his debut album MONTERO, which was announced in a cinema-style trailer on social media, the rapper has changed up his style and sound – mostly focusing on hip hop and often using his performances to express his sexuality. In doing so, the artist has been subjected to extreme amounts of homophobia online.

In March, Lil Nas released the music video for the album’s first single “Call Me By Your Name (Montero)” which received backlash from angry parents and right-wing viewers due to the rapper giving the devil a lap dance and pole dancing into hell. His fans, however, celebrated the song’s expression of queer sexuality and creativity. 

In a performance of the single at the BET awards in June, he snogged two of his dancers on-stage.

In July, he dropped the record’s second single, “Industry Baby”, which was produced by Kanye West. Some fans criticised the music video, which showed the rapper in a five-year sentence at Montero State Prison, where he dances naked in the shower before escaping with the help of featured artist Jack Harlow.

“White corporate music execs funded a music video with Lil Nas X,  where a bunch of Black men are in prison twerking,” writes one Twitter user. “And the lone white man, Jack Harlow, is sexually involved with a FEMALE guard. But all the Black men are sexually engaging with each other. This is progress?”

Responding, Lil Nas said: “Lemme explain. Lil nas = gay, so he wit boy. jack harlow = straight, so he wit girl. got it??”

As MONTERO’s release date is still unannounced, there’s no telling when this era will finish. In the meantime, one fan on Twitter suggested, “how about a gay cowboy era?” We’re here for it.

Watch the MONTERO teaser below.