All Def Music/YouTube Lil Nas X on Arts & Raps
Lil Nas X has faced backlash from outraged parents in recent weeks — but the two-time Grammy winner is a hit with the kids, which he recently proved on Wednesday's episode of the YouTube series Arts & Raps.
The rapper, 22, hilariously explained to the show's young hosts, Zaria and Dilan, what it means to come out of the closet while they worked on their paintings.
"It means you're like, 'Hey everybody, I'm this thing, and you guys didn't even know that, but now you know," Lil Nas X (born Montero Hill) explained when they broached the topic.
Dilan then shared his own "closet story."
"Me and my older cousin, he keeps pushing my brother into the closet," he said. "And we close the door and blink the lights on and off, and then say '666' or 'Bloody Mary.' And then he swore he saw something."
Lil Nas was struggling to keep a straight face throughout the anecdote. "That's exactly what happened to me," he responded, as laughter broke out behind the camera. "That's exactly what I meant when I said I was coming out of the closet."
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The "Old Town Road" singer then shared some advice. When Zaria asked what it means to be "unapologetically you," he responded, "It means just doing yourself at all costs, no matter who's watching."
"It gets really hard, because everybody in the world, we always think about what everybody else is thinking about us," he added. "Sometimes, we forget to think about what we think about ourselves, you know?"
Zaria also commended him for not caring what others think about him. "I won't say that I don't care," he clarified. "It's like, I'm able to care and push it off of my shoulder."
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Lil Nas X faced criticism after releasing his latest single, "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" — which quickly became his second No. 1 hit — and its accompanying music video. In the video, Lil Nas X slides down a pole from heaven to give the devil a lap dance before stealing his horns.
But he's taken the criticism in stride, clapping back at parents claiming he's a bad influence on their children. "I am an adult. I am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. that is your job," he wrote in one tweet.
The artist previously wrote his 14-year-old self an open letter about the significance of his latest bop. "This will open doors for so many other queer people to simply exist," he wrote in part.
Sony Music Lil Nas X
"You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I'm pushing an agenda," he continued. "But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the f— out of other people's lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future. -lnx"
Lil Nas X came out as a member of the LGBTQ community in June 2019, celebrating the final day of Pride Month. "Some of y'all already know, some of y'all don't care, some of y'all not gone fwm no more," he wrote on Twitter at the time.