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At 21 years old, Lil Nas X is doing something his 14-year-old self never thought possible.
The "Old Town Road" superstar never imagined he would come out publicly, he explained on Friday, March 26. He wrote a powerful letter to his younger self, reflecting on why he wanted to release his latest song, "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)," which is about a relationship he had with a man in 2020.
Nas addressed the Instagram note to "14 year old montero," referring to his birth name, Montero Lamar Hill.
"i wrote a song with our name in it. it's about a guy i met last summer," he wrote. "i know we promised to never come out publicly, i know we promised to never be ‘that' type of gay person, i know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist."
The rapper admitted it was "scary" to be so open with the world, but knows there is a greater purpose behind it. Nas continued, "you see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say i'm pushing an agenda. but the truth is, i am."
He added, "the agenda to make people stay the f--k out of other people's lives and stop dictating who they should be. sending you love from the future." He signed the moving note from his stage name "lnx" for a full-circle moment.
The lush music video for "MONTERO" opens with a narration introducing a mystical world that's similar to the Garden of Eden, which is mentioned in the lyrics. Viewers hear, "In life, we hide the parts of ourselves we don't want the world to see. We lock them away. We tell them no. We banish them. But here, we don't. Welcome to Montero."
The seductive song depicts his relationship with a red devil figure, and ends with Nas taking the horns off his head and placing them on his own. The singer sprouts black wings, and his eyes shine with light.
He's been working on new music throughout the past year. In September, Lil Nas X told E!'s Zanna Roberts Rassi that the coronavirus pandemic has actually helped him get inspired to create more freely.
"Quarantine has probably been the best thing that could have happened to me to where I am in my career right now. It's given me so much time to think through while creating music," he said, explaining, "I don't really have to hear so many outside voices while I'm creating, because I'm in the comfort of my home."
In the past, he's gotten candid about the challenges he faced growing up because of his sexual orientation.
"You know, I would just, like, you know, pray, pray, and pray... that it was, like, a phase," he told CBS in 2019.
When host Gayle King asked if he thinks his coming out will help others that are struggling, Nas said, "I think it's gonna always help, you know... We still have a long way to go."
He took home two Grammy Awards in 2020 for "Old Town Road (Remix)" featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.