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Lil Nas X has been the topic of conversation over the last year, from his devilishly salacious song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name”) to stripping bare for the camera’s in his latest video for “Industry Baby.” The artist has come a long way since breaking into the scene with his chart-topping single “Old Town Road,” in 2019 and Lil Nas X certainly doesn’t fear living a little louder now that he has found himself as a gay man.

During an interview with Variety, the 22-year-old shared a few more interesting tidbits about his bubbling romance, freedom of self-expression, and the inspiration behind his controversial music video for “Industry Baby.”

When asked about expressing his sexuality in music, the former country crooner said that he wanted to break out of the societal labels and boxes that the industry was placing him in.

“I had to think about it. I see myself as a pop star, and I look at what pop stars have done and what they’re not allowed to do. But then, also, look at the idea of an “out” gay artist. It has to be very sanitized and it has to be very clean and they’re not allowed to be actually sexual — not even using “he” pronouns, sometimes. It’s kinda like “my lover” or “my best friend.” I don’t want to be that. I know some people had no choice but to be that, but I feel like I live in an era where I don’t have to be that.”

The “Holiday” rapper caused quite a stir across the interwebs when he dropped the music video for “Industry Baby” featuring Jack Harlow back in July. Set in a prison facility, the young artist twerks about a jail cell in one scene and dances alongside a group of buff naked men in the prison’s shower in another. (there you know what areas are blurred in the scenes.) But was the inspiration behind the video’s jarring imagery?

“Prison Break” was definitely a big part of that. What else? The “Telephone” visual. Even there’s a reference “In da Club” by 50 Cent. But mainly, I really wanted to go to a place that I felt like people would not expect me to go for a music video,” Lil Nas X explained of the visuals.

As for that naked shower scene?

“If I go to prison and they were already doing it before they even saw the video, I knew people were gonna make those jokes about, “Don’t drop the soap.” Like, “Oh, he loves to drop the soap.” So it’s kind of… let me beat you to the punch.”

The Grammy-award-winning artist revealed that his romantic life lulled before he struck stardom but things have gotten “a lot more interesting,” now that he’s famous.

“Oh, before fame, I didn’t really have a sexual life besides one person or two.. I’ve had some good boyfriends, some bad ones. A lot of them emotionally unavailable and whatnot. A lot of insecurity between them. But yeah, I found somebody special now.”

Lil Nas X said that he met his new flame on Grindr, a popular gay dating app.

“Yeah. I think this is the one,” he gushed. “I can’t explain it. It’s a feeling.”

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