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Lil Nas X is reflecting on his decision to come out amid the success of “Old Town Road” in 2019. 

The chart-topping musician, whose debut album Montero just scored a No. 2 opening on the Billboard 200 with 129,000 equivalent album units moved, caught up with XXL for its fall 2021 issue and discussed the importance of representation in hip-hop and his decision to open up about his sexuality. 

“I don’t think I would have ever came out,” he explained of the move he made while his song was breaking the record for most weeks ever at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “I honestly felt like it was kind of my duty. Especially if I wanted to move forward. And [with] what I was doing, because authenticity is very real, and I feel like people can see right through that. And that’s a part of me.”