Aug. 11 (UPI) — Lil Nas X says he felt “unsafe” after releasing his controversial music video for his song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”
The 22-year-old singer and rapper, who publicly came out as gay in July 2019, discussed his experience with homophobia and his new album in an interview with Variety published Wednesday.
Lil Nas X released a video for “Montero” in March that shows him pole dancing down to hell, where he seduces the devil. He has since released a video for the song “Industry Baby” that shows him dancing nude with other men in a prison shower.
In the interview, Lil Nas X said the COVID-19 pandemic helped him embrace himself and his sexuality, which can be seen in his music.
“Honestly, I believe the pandemic helped me get out of the idea of trying to please everybody, and the idea of ‘He’s a cool gay person; he’s an acceptable gay person,'” the singer said. “I used to see things like that as a compliment, but it’s not. It just means you’re a people pleaser, and they never become legends.”
“I wanted to be even more authentic in my music and let people into my life. I’m much more confident now — in my music, myself, my sexuality, the things that I believe that I stand for,” he added.
In spite of his newfound confidence, Lil Nas X has received hate, including from fellow rappers such as DaBaby. Lil Nas X said he hasn’t addressed homophobia in the industry due to concerns for his safety.
“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.”
Lil Nas X confirmed there have been times where he’s felt unsafe.
“Yeah, a lot of of times, absolutely,” he said. “Especially after [‘Montero’]. There was literally someone who chased my car a few days after that video came out, yelling, ‘[Expletive] you!’ or something. And that’s when I actually started getting security.”
“Montero” will appear on Lil Nas X’s forthcoming album of the same name. Lil Nas X will release the album before the end of the summer and said it is a “much more personal” project than his pre-pandemic music.