Lil Nas X is GQ’s Musician of the Year after having a successful 2021, which saw the 22-year-old place 11 simultaneous hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart off his debut album, Montero, which charted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. In the corresponding interview for Lil Nas’ achievement, published Monday (Nov. 15), the rapper discussed getting beat out by Drake for a No. 1 album and writing about his family issues on the record. He also took a brief moment to discuss DaBaby’s homophobic comments controversy.
Interviewer and Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris spoke with Lil Nas X and told him that he’s a part of the “hyper-masculine breakdowns” that are happening within the hip-hop industry as of late. “I think that’s certainly true. I’m not going to lie, I feel bad for DaBaby,” Lil Nas said. “I hope he grows from it. I hope he’s able to. But I don’t know. The whole landscape is very hyper-masculine. It’s so great and so amazing that all these female rappers are breaking through. And, in a way, female rappers are the biggest rappers right now.”
Lil Nas touched on other rappers throughout the interview and revealed how he felt about losing the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 to Drake’s Certified Lover Boy. “I did feel like that [I had to work harder]. Then I got out of it, and all I thought about was how blessed I am. About where I was three years ago. Nobody even thought that I would be here. Everybody was like, ‘One-hit-wonder this, one-hit-wonder that.’ And now it’s amazing that my competition was Drake,” the 22-year-old reflected. “Drake, with this huge album and the most first-week sales of the year. Plus, Drake’s my idol. There are too many other wins to be upset.”
During a personal moment in the interview, the rapper also spoke about how tough it was for him to talk about his family issues on Montero, but later reconsidered after evaluating the type of relationship he wanted to have with his fans during the pandemic.
“It was a difficult decision because initially, when I came into the music industry, I never wanted anything about my family life or home life to be out there,” he shared. “But then, as the pandemic was going on, I was kind of thinking, We’re all human beings. We all have similar experiences. I’m sure there’s somebody out there with the exact same situation as me. So I might as well open up my life. I want to build a fan base of honesty and authenticity. And I was like, I have to go there. When I feel like I shouldn’t do it, I feel like that’s when I should definitely go for it.”