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Lil Nas X says two major rap stars declined to collaborate on his first album, Montero.
The "Industry Baby" musician, 22, sat down for an interview with playwright Jeremy O. Harris for GQ, in which he opened up about making his debut album. Lil Nas X revealed that Drake and Nicki Minaj declined to work with him on Montero.
"I don't usually ask for features like that," Lil Nas X said, before telling Harris, 32, "But for every feature I did ask for on this album, like, every single one of them worked … besides Drake and Nicki [Minaj]."
He added that Drake — who released the album Certified Lover Boy the same month as Montero dropped — is his "idol."
Lil Nas X clarified that he "didn't ask [Drake and Minaj] directly." He explained, "I wanted Nicki on 'Industry Baby,' and I wanted Drake on 'Dolla Sign Slime,' with Megan [Thee Stallion]. Yeah, but you know, I feel like things always work out."
While he wasn't able to secure Minaj for "Industry Baby," Lil Nas X tapped Jack Harlow instead, who "ended up being, like, the best option," the rapper told Harris.
"I'm not sure how comfortable Nicki would have felt with that video or whatnot," he added.
The video for "Industry Baby" features nudity and a shower scene in a prison. In an interview with Variety, Lil Nas X previously explained his creative choices in the video, telling the outlet, "I knew people were gonna make those jokes about 'Don't drop the soap,' so I just beat them to the punch."
"I felt like Jack was in a very similar situation that I was in — having a super huge song and having people count you out," said during a Vevo Footnotes video about working with Harlow, 23, on his hit track. "That's how I knew he would be perfect for this song."
During a September episode of the radio show The Breakfast Club, Lil Nas X also opened up about Drake and Minaj passing on a potential collaboration, specifically explaining why Drake declined to work on Montero.
"[Drake] was still working on Certified Lover Boy, and he was 100 percent focused on that, and I understood completely," he said at the time. "And he said he's down to do something, but just [it wasn't] the right time."