Lil Nas X reflected on how being an openly gay rapper has impacted the landscape in the hip-hop industry in a cover interview with GQ published Monday.
Asked about his role in breaking down "hyper-masculinity" in hip-hop, the Grammy-winning artist acknowledged that his presence and success in the industry has helped break down those barriers.
"The whole landscape is very hyper-masculine," the "Industry Baby" rapper said, though he added that "change is happening."
"There’s going to be so many gay rappers. There’s going to be more trans people in the industry and whatnot," he said. "Ten years from now, everything that I’m doing won’t even seem like it was shocking."
The hip-hop star, who released his debut album "Montero" in September, also credited the rise of a new generation of female hip-hop stars for breaking down those barriers.
"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," he said
Collaborations between female artists this year have topped the charts, including Cardi B’s "WAP," featuring Megan Thee Stallion, "Kiss Me More" by Doja Cat and SZA, and Lizzo’s "Rumors," featuring Cardi B.
Lil Nas X came out as gay in 2019, and he was already an international sensation at the time thanks to his viral first single, "Old Town Road" featuring Billy Ray Cyrus -- a song that blended country with hip-hop.
The Grammy-winning rapper reflected on some of the backlash he experienced from people within both genres in an interview with the BBC at the time, saying that homosexuality is "not really accepted" in either genre.
Over the summer, homophobia in hip-hop again became a national topic of discussion when rapper DaBaby made anti-LGBTQ comments, which included misinformation about HIV, that were widely criticized as homophobic by civil rights groups and various artists.
Lil Nas X reflected on the incident, telling GQ that the new generation of rappers are "going to have to reshape their thoughts," and added that he hopes DaBaby "grows" from this experience.
After nearly a month of mounting criticism, DaBaby apologized in August during a meeting with GLAAD and Black HIV advocates from various organizations.
A previous headline for this story misspelled Lil Nas X’s name. It has been corrected.