The 'Montero' singer covers one of EW's Pride issues and talks proving the naysayers wrong.
Regardless of any controversy, Lil Nas X isn't going to let anyone -- not even himself -- hold him back anymore.
In an interview for Entertainment Weekly's cover story, the musician opened up about the whirlwind his life has become since he dropped the chart-topping single "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)," and his journey as a Black gay man in the public eye.
Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, revealed that he was initially hesitant to release the eponymous single. The track is inarguably one of his most vulnerable and soul-baring. And, of course, it has some pretty explicit references to gay sex.
"At first I was really afraid of alienating any of my straight fans," he admitted. "But then it was kind of like, if they feel offended, they were never really here for me. They were here for whatever version of myself they made up in their head."
It's a sentiment that's understandable considering the wave of backlash that followed "Montero's" release, particularly from religious and conservative figures. People slammed it as immoral and inappropriate for kids. But the artist expected a reaction, which he mentioned in a message to his 14-year-old self on social media with the video release.
"I wrote a song with our name in it. it's about a guy i met last summer," he wrote. "i know we promised to never come out publicly, i know we promised to never be 'that' type of gay person, i know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist."
"You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say i'm pushing an agenda. but the truth is, i am. the agenda to make people stay the f**k out of other people's lives and stop dictating who they should be. sending you love from the future. -lnx," he signed the note.
Even with the controversy, Nas X said that he's received a swell of genuine support and love. "Once you show the world more of yourself," he said, "they can relate more."
The encouragement has bolstered his desire to end any tiptoeing out of fear, introducing a bold, more honest era of his life as an artist. "Looking back on history, the biggest icons, the biggest artists, are the ones who aren't trying to always make everybody happy and who were doing themselves. I hope to do that at all times," he said.
He added: "I feel like it's very important, especially in this age, to forgive yourself for the past. At the end of the day, you are the main person that has to depend on you before anybody else. You have to love and nourish yourself."