Lil Nas X has become one of 2019's fastest rising stars. The 20-year-old Atlanta artist was catapulted into the mainstream thanks to a series of TikTok memes that were soundtracked by "Old Town Road"—his viral "country-trap" record that now leads the Billboard Hot 100. It's a pretty impressive feat considering he was relatively unknown at the top of the year; however, as Lil Nas X's popularity surged, so did the rumors about his life before the fame.
Over the past several weeks, a number of outlets have reported Lil Nas X ran the now-suspended Twitter account @NasMaraj. The page had built a six-figure following with its Nicki Minaj stan posts, recycled viral videos, and memes. Publications like Billboard and HotNewHipHop have since retracted previous reports that identified Lil Nas X as the operator of @NasMaraj: "Lil Nas X's team has reached out to us to confirm that the Lil Nas X did not run a Nicki Minaj fanpage, despite Billboard's initial reports," a correction on HNHH's website reads.
Lil Nas X addressed the theories in a recent interview with NPR, and attempted to distance himself from the @Nasmaraj account.
"It's like a big misunderstanding and it's not one that I even want to give the time, because I'm never putting someone as the face of my career," he explained. "So I don't even speak on it. I just don't even acknowledge it, really. I know even more things are being made up and they're gonna be out there. It is disappointing when a big blog will post something without me talking about it but, I mean, it happens."
Despite Lil Nas X's pseudo-denial, New York Magazine has presented strong evidence to suggests the rapper was, in fact, behind @Nasmaraj. The publication points to Reddit user u/NasMaraj that frequently promoted Lil Nas X's music, and references 2018 Wayback Machine snapshots that show @Nasmaraj's replacement account—@NasMarai—listed the same Gmail address currently linked in Lil Nas X’s Twitter bio. (@Nasmarai was formed after @Nasmaraj was suspended for violating Twitter's spam policies.)
But the most convincing piece of evidence New York Magazine presents is the URLs for @Nasmarai's old tweets.
Per the magazine:
Take this one, for example:
The only thing that really matters in that URL is the string of digits at the end — 1020070841424515072 — which form the ID number for the tweet itself. I could write in …
… and, if the tweet is still live, the URL will redirect to the current name of the account holder. Let’s see what happens when we visit that old Nas Marai tweet. Ah. Here it is.
Complex has reached out to Lil Nas X's camp for a comment on his alleged involvement with @NasMaraj.