Lil Nas X and Maggie Rogers are this month’s Teen Vogue music-issue cover stars.
Lil Nas X, real name Montero Lamar Hill, discusses everything from dropping out of college last July to that Billboard country-chart controversy in his interview.
The rapper says of quitting school and releasing his first EP, Nasarati, on SoundCloud: “I was doing good in school, but I didn’t want to do school anymore. At first, I was just bored, like, ‘Hey, Twitter, I made a song.’ But I’m like, ‘Wait, this is really hard.’
“Then I made another one, and it didn’t make any noise. I was overtrying. A lot of it was me trying to be something that people would like instead of making music that I would like.”
He insists Billboard’s decision to remove “Old Town Road” from the country chart was more layered than just discrimination: “I had this idea in mind at first, but then as I went on to think about it, I was like, ‘Maybe because [the] country [music industry] is guarded.’
“You can have your country song with trap elements but if it’s by known country artists, then it’s allowed. A black guy who raps comes along, and he’s on top of the country chart, it’s like, ‘What the f**k?’”
Rogers, meanwhile, talks about never watching herself perform until she finally saw bits of her at Coachella.
She shares, “Holy s**t. I didn’t realize I was getting good at it. I didn’t recognize myself, which is a really wild experience… I just got goosebumps thinking about it [right now]. I think it was the best performance I’ve ever played.”
Rogers says she respects other artists like Billie Eilish, who are not asking permission: “She is 17 and she’s calling the shots… that’s f**king cool.”