For Lil Nas X, being unapologetic about being a highly visible rapper who’s gay is the banner of truth he walks with. But that doesn’t mean that he’s unaware about how much that makes him a target for hateful behavior and worse.
The “Old Town Road” rapper was recently the main cover star for Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood issue. As part of that feature, he sat down for an interview. When asked for his take on the homophobic comments that DaBaby made during his set at Rolling Loud in Miami a couple of weeks ago along with his thoughts about HIV and AIDS in the LGBTQ+ community, Lil Nas X declined to make a comment directly about that situation.
“The honest truth is, I don’t want to speak on a lot of the homophobia within rap because I feel like this is a very dangerous playing field,” he said. “It’s more for my own safety rather than anything else.” When asked to elaborate on if he felt unsafe, he responded: “Yeah, a lot of times, absolutely,” he says. “Especially after [‘Montero’]. There was literally someone who chased my car a few days after that video came out, yelling, ‘Fuck you!’ or something. And that’s when I actually started getting security.” Given the negative way that some responded to that infamous video for “Montero” and his “Industry Baby” video that came complete with a prison shower scene, it’s understandable.
But Lil Nas X intends to keep on living his truth and enacting change through his music and presence. As he also expressed in the interview, getting to this point in his life is what gives him more strength: “I’m much more confident now — in my music, myself, my sexuality, the things that I believe that I stand for.”