Lil Nas X is the breakout creator of the international hit “Old Town Road” that has claimed record-breaking spots on Billboard charts, won the hearts of children and scored him collaborations with major brands, influencers, actors, and musicians alike. He rose through the charts, winning him a solid twelve weeks at the number one spot. His EP “7” has gained praise and charted exceptionally well, proving he’s more than just a one-hit wonder. “Old Town Road” has sold over millions of copies, making it one of Billboard’s most popular songs in history, and is now eligible for Diamond status, as of June 30, 2019 – coincidentally, the same day he came out.
A great deal of Lil Nas X’s fanbase is straight men, and some have responded to Lil Nas X coming out with homophobic remarks. Making his way through the music industry was difficult enough as a Black man getting his start by making country music, as he began his career with controversy and prejudice. “Old Town Road” was removed from the Country Billboard chart for “not being Country enough,” which sparked outrage, and lead to him collaborating with country legend Billy Rae Cyrus to get him back on the charts. A great deal of the country industry shunned him simply for being Black, and to be openly identifying within the LGBTQ+ community could have been completely detrimental to his career. Many true fans have taken to the internet to share their love for him, and to fight back against the homophobia. The outpouring support and vows to remain a loyal fan are uplifting, promising, and important — it’s not every day a Black, country music making, gay man is given the space to be open about who he truly is.
lil nas x is a black gay cowboy rapper playing life on hard difficulty mode and crushing it like how can you not stan
— lemonade was a popular drink and it still is (@mattwhitlockPM) July 1, 2019
After the drop of his hit EP many were focused on hits like “Panini” and “Rodeo,” and ignored songs like “C7osure (You Like).” The lyrics, when read more closely, open up about his experience hiding a part of his identity. Some caught onto this and took to Twitter to share how they were upset he was singing about girls in songs like “Rodeo.” Many of his other fans were mad at those who acted in such a way, saying they unnecessarily pressured him to come out.
People talkin about @LilNasX but not realizing there’s a bad side to this. I don’t think he came out willingly but rather was forced out of the closet by you twitter detectives posting exposé’s about celeb lives trying to find out their secrets. Celebs are people too.
— Allen (@KnownAllen) July 1, 2019
As Pride Month comes to a close, on June 30, Lil Nas X tweeted a tweet that alluded to his sexuality, pride month, and attached his song and mini-visual to “C7osure (You Like).” The video features a young boy struggling in a black and white setting full of fighting. The boy then breaks free to a bright, colorful, tropical setting. Even as the boy enjoys the beach, surrounded by two beautiful women, he doesn’t smile. A rainbow ball bounces in front of him, he accepts a drink from a waiter, he bares his teeth, and he then flashes back to the black and white setting (the video then loops). This likely illustrates him attempting to run from his sexuality, but his struggle to conceal it could revert him back to pain. The lyrics clearly open up about the experience of hiding away parts of his identity in order to protect his future. He sings, “Brand new places I’ll choose and I’ll go…Embracin‘ this news I behold unfolding…But I look back at this moment, I’ll see that I’m fine…I know it don’t feel like it’s time/I set boundaries for myself, it’s time to cross the line.”
some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure. ??✨ pic.twitter.com/O9krBLllqQ
— nope (@LilNasX) June 30, 2019
It is clear that Lil Nas X has a bright and promising future in the music industry, and it’s good that he can continue his journey (down the old town road) being true to himself.