Following DaBaby’s homophobic comments made at Rolling Loud Miami earlier this year, Lil Nas X said he “feels bad” for the rapper and hopes he “can grow” from the experience.

In a new interview with Jeremy O. Harris for GQ, which named the artist one of its Men of the Year 2021, X reflected upon the “hypermasculine” culture of hip-hop right now and expressed sympathy for DaBaby in light of his controversy.

In the feature, it was suggested to Lil Nas X that he might be “part of the hypermasculine breakdowns that have been happening in hip-hop recently,” and he appeared to agree. “I think that’s certainly true,” he replied. “I’m not going to lie, I feel bad for DaBaby. I hope he grows from it. I hope he’s able to. But I don’t know. The whole landscape is very hypermasculine. 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 went on to express his optimism for the future of hip-hop and the spectrum of popular voices. “I do feel like this newer generation of rappers who are coming in, and the ones who are here, are going to have to reshape their thoughts. Because 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. Ten years from now, everything that I’m doing won’t even seem like it was shocking.”

Back in July, DaBaby faced intense criticism after he made some highly questionable comments about AIDS during his Rolling Loud Miami performance. “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases, that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up,” said the North Carolina rapper. “Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”

Lil Nas X did not directly respond to or address DaBaby’s comments at the time, but he was dragged into the conversation not long after thanks to T.I. and Boosie Badazz. In the following months, Boosie has continued to share hateful homophobic comments directed at X.

Elsewhere in the GQ feature, the Montero artist touched on his appreciation for Azealia Banks, even though she “shits on me too much.” He added, “I think it’s funny in a way. I still love Azealia Banks’ music.”

He also gave his thoughts on his debut album not landing at the No. 1 spot, mostly due to its competition being Drake’s Certified Lover Boy. 

“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,” X explained. “Plus, Drake’s my idol. There are too many other wins to be upset.”

As previously mentioned, Nas asked Drake to appear on the album and said he also reached out to Nicki Minaj to no avail. “I wanted Nicki on ‘Industry Baby,’ and I wanted Drake on ‘Dolla Sign Slime,’ with Megan [Thee Stallion],” X said. “Yeah, but you know, I feel like things always work out. Jack Harlow ended up being, like, the best option. I’m not sure how comfortable Nicki would have felt with that video or whatnot.”

Read the full Lil Nas X GQ profile here.