Lil Nas X, the 20-year-old who found record-breaking success with his history-making hit “Old Town Road,” is featured on the cover of the current issue of TIME.
TIME’s Andrew Chow writes, “The fact that Lil Nas has risen so far and so fast testifies not only to his skill, but also to the erosion of the systems that for generations kept artists like him on the sidelines. As streaming and social media have democratized pathways to success, hip-hop—once an outlet for disenfranchised people of color—has become the dominant sound of popular music. More and more in recent years, hip-hop has been merging with country, a genre long associated with white conservatism…. At a time when debates about categorization and identity are ubiquitous, Lil Nas X represents a more unified vision of the future, one in which a young queer black man can dominate popular culture by being unapologetically himself.”
“Everything lined up for this moment to take me to this place,” Lil Nas X tells the outlet. “Not to sound self-centered, but it feels like I’m chosen, in a way, to do this stuff.”
The star discusses how streaming and meme culture have changed the music industry, his genre-blending success, the impact of coming out on Twitter during Pride month, and his journey to accepting his newfound fame. Read the full story at TIME.
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