Following the arrival of his new Kanye West-assisted track “Industry Baby,” Lil Nas X has linked up with Complex News’ Speedy Morman for a new interview.

X has continued to dominate the charts this year, and his wild video proves he won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Whether it’s his infamous “Satan shoes” or triggering conservatives with the “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” video, Lil Nas X has stayed in the headlines for most of 2021. In his chat for 360 With Speedy Morman, X spoke about what it was like to come out in 2019, Drake inspiring him, working with Kanye, and why he wants to give Nicki Minaj space.

At the end of Pride Month in 2019, following his record-setting run with “Old Town Road,” Nas came out as gay. Speaking with Morman, X said he noticed more “side-eyes” at award shows after he publicly came out. While he didn’t want to name any names, he suggested these looks came from those within “the hip-hop realm.” He added, “I feel like it’s not always that they don’t fuck with me, but [they] don’t want other people to know [they] fuck with me.”

He hasn’t let the negativity stop him from being himself, though. “I feel like when homosexuality is presented within music it’s always super-sanitized and safe, like, ‘Oh they’re gay, but who knows?’” he said, referring to how artists can be “super careful” with pronouns so as to not present the song as explicitly queer or heteronormative. “This is an opportunity to be myself even more,” he said.

One of the biggest moments of the year for Lil Nas X came with his performance of “Montero” at the 2021 BET Awards, which ended with him kissing one of his dancers. “BET didn’t know that I was going to do it, but I knew that I was gonna do it,” he said, explaining that he hid that part of the performance from the network “in case they were like, ‘Okay, this is gonna happen so let’s zoom all the way out for this part.’”

He said he almost “shit my pants” when he first got onstage. “I almost literally shit…well, my skirt, there were no pants,” he said. “I clenched through.”

From there he briefly touched in the interview upon homophobia in hip-hop, suggesting it’s getting increasingly “drowned out.” 

Later on in the chat, X spoke about how both Drake and Kanye West have continued to inspire him. “I think, like, the Drakes and the Kanyes of the world, they always find a way to adapt and evolve, and they’ll still be doing their own shit,” he said. “I really admire that ability to just have that longevity, and recreate yourself over and over again. That’s what I wanna do.” While he’s since worked with Kanye on “Industry Baby,” he said still hasn’t had an opportunity to meet Drake. “When the time comes, I’ll meet him in the right spot,” he said, noting he would “absolutely” be down to work on music with the 6 God.

Following the release of his song “Sun Goes Down,” Lil Nas X was hit with backlash from Nicki Minaj fans because the song and video briefly mentioned her. “I’d be by the phone/Stanning Nicki mornin’ into dawn/Only place I felt like I belonged,” he sings in the first verse. Addressing the situation again, X wanted to make it clear he wasn’t “using her” for attention.

“I literally dedicated years of my life to a person, so me mentioning them in a song...it’s not me using them for clout,” he explained. “That’s a big part of my past. That’s a big part of shaping who I am and what I’m doing right now.” He mentioned that they haven’t had an opportunity to talk in person yet, and while he wants to, X added, “Some people need their space. … Nicki will always be a hero to me. She’s always been herself, you know? She still inspires me to this day.”

He spoke on his brand new song “Industry Baby,” which features Jack Harlow and is co-produced by Kanye West, and how it all came together. “Kanye let me listen to some of his album stuff. … And then he asked me to play some of my stuff, and he was fucking with this,” he said of how ’Ye got involved. “He added some things, he added some horns and some other things. Made it even sicker. He’s just all around a genuine guy, super supportive. Very in tune to what’s happening while staying away from what’s happening.”

X described the studio session with Kanye as an “out-of-body moment,” and admitted the experience caught him off-guard. “It was, like, right before the BET Awards,” he explained. “My manager used to manage Kanye, and they’re still cool, so that’s how we got together.” He also described Kanye as “the king of self expression.”

Watch the full interview above.