Lil Nas X graces the cover of Time magazine.
2019 has been an incredible year for Lil Nas. The “Old Town Road” rapper broke major Billboard chart records with his breakout hit song, dethroning the likes of Mariah Carey and Eminem.
At the pinnacle of his early success, Lil Nas came at a crossroads. The rapper was taught from a young age that homosexuality “is never to be okay.” He worried his large fanbase — boasting both hip-hop heads and country fans — would share that sentiment.
“I know the people who listen to this the most, and they’re not accepting of homosexuality,” he said. It was Pride Month that gave Lil Nas the push he needed to come out. He first came out to his father and sister. On June 30, he teased his coming out on Twitter.
The next day, he shared the album art for his debut album 7, which notably features a rainbow building in the backdrop. He outright stated his sexuality in a subsequent sit-down with “BBC Breakfast”.
“I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe,” Lil Nas told Time. “In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands — little stuff like that.”
Now, Lil Nas has found himself on the cover of a major publication.“Everything lined up for this moment to take me to this place,” the rapper said about his catapult to stardom. “Not to sound self-centred but it feels like I’m chosen, in a way, to do this stuff.”
Lil Nas X used social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter to break the record for the longest-running No. 1 single on the Billboard 200 chart. “This is the democratization of the music industry that people were hoping for when social media first became available,” said Bill Werde, formerly of Billboard.
“A lot of walls were taken down by this song,” asserted Billy Ray Cyrus, who collaborated on the official “Old Town Road” remix. “I think a lot of artists out there can look at this and say, ‘Hey man, this is a green light.’”
Following the major success of Cyrus’ remix, “Old Town Road” has been treated to three other official remixes: one by Diplo, one by Young Thug and Mason Ramsey, and one by BTS’ RM. Read Time’s full cover story here.