The 20-year-old can be seen decked out in a red PHLEMUNS suit, with matching turtle neck and custom Gladys Tamez Millinery cowboy hat, accented with a pair of cow skin-printed pskaufman boots. As the cover star, the in-depth TIME feature takes a look at Lil Nas X’s rise to fame from being a college dropout and sleeping on his sister’s floor to where he is now. In the interview the artist even touches upon coming out. “I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe,” he says. “In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands–little stuff like that.”
Lil Nas’ “Old Town Road” is the longest-running No. 1 single in history thus far and has seen numerous remixes. According to the interview, Lil Nas X is the sole writer of “Old Town Road” and he purchased the beat online for a mere $30 USD. Since becoming a big name in the industry, the rapper has collaborated with Cardi B and made paninis with Gordon Ramsay.
Head over to TIME Magazine for the full feature.
And in case you’ve missed it, Lil Nas X hunts for the perfect cowboy outfit at NYC’s largest Western wear store.
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When @lilnasx recorded “Old Town Road” last fall, he was hoping it could be his way out of an unhappy life. Born Montero Lamar Hill outside #Atlanta in 1999, Lil Nas grew up poor, living with one parent or another—his mother and father split when he was 6. As he spent most of his teenage years alone, he began to live on the Internet and particularly Twitter, creating #memes that showed his disarming wit and pop-culture savvy. “It was like, I’m able to go viral, but I’m not promoting anything that’s gonna help me,” he says. “Until music came along.” A gifted vocalist since he was a child—his father is a gospel singer—Lil Nas began writing and recording songs in his closet. When, around last Halloween, he stumbled across a banjo-driven beat by the teenage Dutch producer @youngkio, he saw an opportunity to combine trap—a Southern-born #hiphop subgenre propelled by vicious bass and crawling tempos—with #country, which was experiencing a surge of popularity on the Internet. “Because it’s two polar opposites coming together, it’s funny no matter what it is,” he says. For the history of #music, artists like Lil Nas were the exception, writes Andrew R. Chow. Now, by definition, Lil Nas is the rule. Read more at the link in bio. Video by @khomariflashfilms and @alexandra_robson for TIME