Things could have looked a lot different for Lil Nas X had “Old Town Road” not been a big success.

Fresh off the release of his debut album Montero, the rapper told XXL that he probably would have never come out if he didn’t find the success he did through the Billy Ray Cyrus collab.

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“I don’t think I would have ever came out,” he said. “I honestly felt like it was kind of my duty. Especially if I wanted to move forward. And [with] what I was doing, because authenticity is very real, and I feel like people can see right through that. And that’s a part of me.”

He was also worried about what people would think of him after he did come out.

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“I used to ‘like’ comments where people were like, ‘Oh, I like him, because he’s not all in your face about it.’ And then I realized kind of what that was,” he said. “It’s kind of like when people say, ‘Oh, I have a Black friend,’ and that kind of sits on everything that have to do with their Black history and culture, whatnot. I’m kind of like, I’m not that person, you know?”

Lil Nas X is once again hitting a major point in his career as “Industry Baby” is at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.