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Entertainment Lil Nas X on Finding Success as a Queer Artist: ‘It Feels Good to Prove People Wrong’

03:00  05 may  2021
03:00  05 may  2021 Source:   billboard.com

Lil Nas X Rules U.K. Singles Chart With ‘Montero’

  Lil Nas X Rules U.K. Singles Chart With ‘Montero’ Lil Nas X is a fully grown-up chart star in the U.K., where “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” (Lil Nas X) debuts at No. 1.“Montero” is the U.S. rapper’s second leader on the Official Singles Chart, following 2019’s “Old Town Road,” and it’s the second single to debut at No. 1 this year after Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”.

But it also feels good to prove people wrong . It 's one of my driving forces," he said, before speaking about his initial rise to fame. "I was only getting like 1,000 plays a song [on SoundCloud], but I knew for a fact something huge was coming. And it happened." Nas continued, saying that at first he was skeptical about releasing a song about gay sex and romance. But ultimately, he said he wanted to make it clear that supporting him meant supporting an artist who was openly, unquestionably queer . "At first I was really afraid of alienating any of my straight fans," he said.

Lil Nas X is here to prove you wrong . The 22-year-old artist is still breaking barriers — one song (and several clapbacks) at a time. By Ira Madison III. May 04, 2021 at 12:00 PM EDT. In two hours, Lil Nas X will be the happiest he's ever been. He'll shake a bottle of Veuve Clicquot before popping it . Yet the controversy briefly melts away when news finally arrives that "Montero" is a global No. 1 hit . "I'm thankful," says Nas in an interview later that day. "But it also feels good to prove people wrong .

After the success of “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X’s detractors labeled the rapper a one-hit wonder. Now, in a new interview, Nas is having the last laugh.

Appearing on the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s 2021 Pride issue, Lil Nas X spoke with Ira Madison III about the success of (and significant backlash to) his latest single “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).” The 22-year-old rapper, who recently earned his second No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Montero,” said that the single’s success felt like a refutation of those who didn’t believe in him.

“I’m thankful. But it also feels good to prove people wrong. It’s one of my driving forces,” he said, before speaking about his initial rise to fame. “I was only getting like 1,000 plays a song [on SoundCloud], but I knew for a fact something huge was coming. And it happened.”

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Today, 20-year-old Lil Nas X (Nas to his friends) is a far cry from his teenage self, Montero Lamar Hill from Lithia Springs. In 12 months, he has gone from “the black cowboy with the song on TikTok” to a global superstar. He is simultaneously a Gen-Z success story, red carpet fixture, Billboard record holder and, perhaps most surprising to Lil Nas X himself, a queer figurehead. The key to this success has been his track Old Town Road, an infectious blend of hip hop and country, right down to lyrics such as “Ridin’ on a tractor/Lean all in my bladder” and “Cowboy hat from Gucci/Wrangler on my booty”.

Last year, rapper Lil Nas X used Twitter to publicly come out as gay at the end of 2019 Pride Month. Now the 21-year-old viral phenom is revealing who inspired him to share his sexual orientation while dominating both hip-hop and country, two genres that have a history of normalized homophobia. Monday, during an interview with Zane Lowe, the often mischievous entertainer opened up about how the bravery of other queer Black hip-hop/R&B artists like Frank Ocean and Tyler, the Creator gave him the idea that he could do the same and still be successful .


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Nas continued, saying that at first he was skeptical about releasing a song about gay sex and romance. But ultimately, he said he wanted to make it clear that supporting him meant supporting an artist who was openly, unquestionably queer. “At first I was really afraid of alienating any of my straight fans,” he said. “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 was also important, he told the magazine, for him to step away from the “country-trap” sound that made him famous with “Old Town Road,” instead deciding to emulate musical idols of his, including Nicki Minaj and Drake. “No, I want to do whatever the f— I want. Stop trying to make me give you that next ‘Old Town Road,'” he said of his thought process in composing his forthcoming album. “I found myself being able to grow lyrically and express more of me when I write my own songs.”

Five Burning Questions: Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero’ Debuts Atop the Hot 100

  Five Burning Questions: Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero’ Debuts Atop the Hot 100 How surprising is Lil Nas X’s latest chart achievement? And is the controversy “Montero” has caused since its release replicable by other pop stars? Billboard staffers discuss these questions and more.How surprising is Lil Nas X’s latest chart achievement? And is the controversy “Montero” has caused since its release replicable by other pop stars? Billboard staffers discuss these questions and more below.

Lil Nas X is not the first artist to bring attention to the inflexibility of genre categorization and credentials. Aerosmith’s1986 collaboration with Run DMC’s “Walk This Way,” was the first song to popularize the amalgamation of rap and rock genres, but that too, did not come without controversy. On April 5, 2019, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus teamed up to re-release the song featuring Cyrus. This re-release not only caused the song to go back onto the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart, but in the following two weeks, the original song saw 180,000 song sales, 222 M streams and 15,000 radio spins.

Lil Nas X has announced that he’ll be performing his hit single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” along with a new song, during his musical guest slot on the May 22nd episode of Saturday Night Live. Anya Taylor-Joy is set to host. This content is not available due to your privacy preferences. Last month, Saturday Night Live parodied the controversy surrounding the release of Lil Nas X ’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and the song’s tie-in “Satan shoes” during its April 3rd episode; Chris Redd portrayed Lil Nas X as a guest on a talk show hosted by Britney Spears (played by Chloe Fineman).

The rapper also spoke about his Twitter presence, where he regularly claps back at those tweeting hateful comments at him, especially in the wake of his latest single. “I’m very much a chaotic good person — I almost never want to start shooting at somebody who didn’t bring it to my doorstep, you know?” he said. “But I kind of live for when somebody tries to get me and I’m ready to throw it back at them tenfold. Do I feel bad about it sometimes? Every now and then, but I feel less bad knowing that I didn’t start it. I try to never throw stones, but if somebody throws one at me, I’m throwing an entire house.”

Check out the new interview, where Nas also discusses dating, inspiring queer fans and more, here.

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usr: 1
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