Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@lilnasx
Lil Nas X has said he doesn’t want to speak about homophobia in rap because it’s still a “dangerous playing field”, and for concern about his own safety.
In an interview with Variety, the 22-year-old ‘Industry Baby’ singer talks about his music, influence and coming out. The star also discusses getting closer with his dad.
The subject of anti-gay rhetoric in rap and hip-hop has come to the fore lately following a homophobic rant by DaBaby in July, which led to widespread condemnation of the rapper.
“This is a very dangerous playing field”
Asked about the recent controversy around DaBaby, Lil Nas X refused to address the issue or the comments.
“The honest truth is, I don’t want to speak on a lot of the homophobia within rap because I feel like this is a very dangerous playing field. It’s more for my own safety rather than anything else.”
He adds that he does feel unsafe a lot of the time. “Especially after ‘Montero’ (the one where he gives Satan a lap dance, remember!) There was literally someone who chased my car a few days after that video came out, yelling, ‘F*** you!’ or something.
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“And that’s when I actually started getting security,” admitting he doesn’t know if the video led to the stranger chasing him but saying, “I feel like it couldn’t be a coincidence.”
Discussing the impact homophobia has had on him Nas says it “bred a lot of self-hate,” but that it’s made him stronger. And much to the disappointment of many hopefuls out there, Nas says he’s taken. “I think this is the one. I can’t explain it — it’s just a feeling.” Sorry guys!
“I’m much more confident now”
Elsewhere in the interview, Lil Nas X says that coming out during Pride month in 2019 helped him with his creativity: “I probably wouldn’t even be here right now, talking about the things I’m talking about and being that voice for so many people. It’s so much more of a journey when there’s more to it than just making catchy songs, you know?”
His recent hit ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ also helped, he reveals, bring him and his dad closer together saying his dad was more supportive afterward: “Before that, it was something we never really talked about. But after he gave it some time, he believed in me even more.”
On getting through lockdown Lil Nas X admits to a few tears as well as writing music, but that ultimately the experience changed him and a new, more confident version of himself emerged. He says, “I wanted to be even more authentic in my music and let people into my life. I’m much more confident now — in my music, myself, my sexuality, the things that I believe that I stand for.”
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We can certainly see from his most recent hits ‘Montero (CMBYN)’ and ‘Industry Baby’ that he’s certainly no wallflower, further proved by his excellent ability to clap back at his haters with ease.
The interview concludes with a look forward and another reveal – this time that Lil Nas X turned down a part in HBO’s Euphoria starring Zendaya because he didn’t feel ready and he wanted to focus on his debut album, Montero.
But he says, “I definitely want to get into acting, but I feel I have to give it my all, and I want to focus on music for right now. I want my first movie to be amazing.”
That’s fair enough, we want that too.
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