A relative unknown just a few months ago, he staged a worldwide takeover with the song and has been bulldozing Billboard records in the process.
Now, as he celebrates his 19th week atop of the Hot 100 (the longest reign in the chart’s history), he poses it up for a Times Magazine cover feature.
Lensed by Kelia Anne, the profile unpacks the unconventional narrative of the 20-year-old and also sees him discuss his decision to come out as a member of the LGBTQ community.
Check out excerpts below…
For a lot of reasons, Lil Nas didn’t initially plan to come out. He had been taught from a young age that homosexuality “is never going to be O.K.,” and he feared he would lose fans: “I know the people who listen to this the most, and they’re not accepting of homosexuality,” he says. While hip-hop stars like Frank Ocean and Tyler, the Creator have come out as queer, the spectre of homophobia still looms large.
But during Pride Month, something changed for Lil Nas. “I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe,” he says. “In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands–little stuff like that.”
He first came out to his father and sister earlier in June, and then broke the news on Twitter several weeks later.
Check out a behind the scenes look at the shoot:
[Photo credit: Kelia Anne / ]