Lil Nas X is Time magazine’s latest cover star, and the rapper got candid about his record-breaking year during the interview.
The Atlanta artist, who graces the cover in a bright red suit, cowboy hat and cow-printed boots, talked about his rise to stardom.
As a teen, he’d become an internet whiz by learning to create viral posts. But the 20-year-old said he wasn’t promoting anything that would actually help him “until music came along.”
That’s when he created “Old Town Road,” which just notched its 19th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 despite a bit of controversy. It’s the longest run for any artist this year.
“Seeing digital numbers, it’s a good feeling. It goes so quickly, though,” he said. “You have to keep going.”
Despite the success, the entertainer did admit the pressures of fame can be “overwhelming.” He especially felt angst when he decided to come out earlier this summer.
During the last day of Pride Month, he announced he was gay.
“I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe,” said Lil Nas X, who came out to his father and sister a few weeks before sharing the news on Twitter. “In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands–little stuff like that.”
Although he said he was afraid he’d lose fans, he has no regrets. He’s embraced his supporters and his role in music.
“Everything lined up for this moment to take me to this place,” he said. “Not to sound self-centered, but it feels like I’m chosen, in a way, to do this stuff.”
Read the full cover story at Time.