Lil Nas X has shared doubts on whether he would have come out as gay without the success of his 2019 breakthrough “Old Town Road”.
Since publicly coming out as gay, the pop star has unapologetically embraced his queerness, writing LGBTQ-focused lyrics, serving extravagant costume looks, kissing men on live TV, and spotlighting Black male dancers and actors in explicit scenes in his music videos.
Speaking to XXL, Lil Nas X explained he felt like it was his “duty” to come out after the success of “Old Town Road”.
“I don’t think I would have ever come out,” he said. “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.”
He also voiced concerns about how people would treat him 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,’” he explained. “And then I kind of realised what that was. It’s kind of like when people say, ‘Oh, I have a Black friend, and that (sits on) everything that has to do with their Black history and culture... I’m kind of like, I’m not that person, you know?”
Following the release of his debut Montero earlier this month, the musician joked on Twitter: “Wow I just became the first one-hit wonder of all time to have 11 songs on Billboard all at once.”
11 out of 15 tracks off Montero are charting, including “Industry Baby” at number two, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” at nine, and “That’s What I Want” at 10. Also in the top 100 include the Doja Cat-featuring song “Scoop”, “Dolla Sign Slime” which features Megan Thee Stallion, “Dead Right Now”, “Tales of Dominica”, the Elton John-featuring “One Of Me”, “Lost In The Citadel”, “Sun Goes Down”, and “Am I Dreaming” featuring Miley Cyrus.
It marks Lil Nas’ first ever week with three simultaneous top 10s, bringing his overall total to five, following previous top 10s “Panini” and “Old Town Road” – the longest-running number one in US chart history.
Revisit Dazed’s rundown of five times that Lil Nas X ripped up music’s rulebook here.