In addition to riding “Old Town Road” to the top of the charts, Lil Nas X made headlines last month after coming out as gay. While many artists have applauded his decision, fellow rapper and collaborator Young Thug thinks Lil Nas X shouldn’t have gone public.
“I feel like he probably shouldn’t have told the world,” Thugger recently told No Jumper podcaster Adam 22, as HotNewHipHop points out. “He shouldn’t have told the world.”
However, the Atlanta rapper’s comments don’t come from a place of homophobia. Rather, Young Thug fears that Lil Nas X will now be a target of backlash and unfair bias.
“These days, m*therfuckers, it’s just all judgment,” remarked Young Thug. “Motherf*ckers is just judging. It ain’t even about the music no more. Once you found out he was gay, as soon as the song come on now, everybody like, “This gay-ass n*gga.” N*ggas don’t even care to listen to the song no more…” He continued,
“I just feel like he young, and backlash can come behind anything. [His coming out] wasn’t a bad idea, and it was most definitely the best time to do it, during Pride. That was the best time to do it. That was a G’s move. But he young, and I know he going to be dealing with it in his mind. I dealt with this shit before. I know what he dealing with. So I was like, ‘Fuck, he should have never said that, never should have told them.’”
Young Thug doesn’t identify as straight or gay, and he often presents himself as very fluid (see the cover for 2016’s Jeffrey, in which he wears a dress). Although the ambiguity surrounding his sexual orientation has resulted in plenty of attention, Thugger has taken it all in stride — and even almost welcomes the controversy.
“I like everything that people say,” he told the Guardian back in 2015. “No matter what they say. You gay, you a punk. You got a nice girlfriend, you’re ugly, you can’t rap, you’re the hardest.”
But given that hip-hop is still rampant with homophobia, Young Thug’s concern for Lil Nas X isn’t surprising. For his part, Lil Nas X doesn’t seem too worried, though, and is looking to counter whatever hate comes his way with humor.
“Learning the Internet the past couple of years, I used to be that person being negative. So I’m not angry or anything, because I understand how they just want that reaction,” he told the BBC earlier this month. “But I’m just gonna joke back with them.”
Below, revisit the latest “Old Town Road” remix featuring Young Thug and Mason Ramsey: