From the top of the charts to the cover of “TIME”, Lil Nas X is dominating 2019.

In the publication’s new cover story, the “Old Town Road” star talks about how, as TIME puts it, “a young queer black man can dominate popular culture by being unapologetically himself.”

“Everything lined up for this moment to take me to this place,” Lil Nas tells TIME, noting the role that social media and streaming have played in the record-breaking success of “Old Town Road.”

“Not to sound self-centered, but it feels like I’m chosen, in a way, to do this stuff.”

 

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thank you for this opportunity @time ❤️🤩

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Lil Nas also talks about his decision to come out, admitting to TIME that he’d been taught since childhood that being gay “is never going to be O.K.”  He was also afraid that he’d lose fans, pointing out, “I know the people who listen to this the most, and they’re not accepting of homosexuality.”  But he says June, Pride Month, changed his mind.

“I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe,” he explains. “In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands — little stuff like that.”  He came out to his dad and sister earlier in June, and then casually announced it on Twitter several weeks later.

Now, Lil Nas has big plans for the future, even though he admits his fame is “overwhelming.”  When his new single “Panini” is over, he’s planning a video for his Cardi B-assisted track “Rodeo,” and will then release a bunch of new songs of all genres.  He’s also working with top producers like Pharrell Williams.

“Seeing digital numbers, it’s a good feeling. It goes so quickly, though,” he says. “You have to keep going.”

The new issue of TIME is out Friday.

 

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finally learned my lesson

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