Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Lil Nas X



Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Lil Nas X

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Kaci Heavirland
We bet you didn't know these things about Lil Nas X. Our countdown includes he worked with Fenty, her released a children's book, he was linked to Nicki Minaj controversy, and more!

Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Lil Nas X

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Lil Nas X.

For this list, we’ll be looking at little known facts about the musician and rapper, whose debut album, Montero, dropped in September 2021.

What’s your favorite song off “Montero”? Let us know in the comments below.

#10: “Old Town Road” Was the Fastest Record to Earn Diamond Status

Lil Nas X’s first song made more than just waves in the music industry; it made tsunamis. When the song was first released, it caught the attention of fans from pretty much every musical genre, even catching the attention of the Cyrus family. Before releasing the remixes, OTR had already made it to the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot chart. But once Billy Ray joined the song, their streams skyrocketed and the single started to make history. Not only did it break the record for longest song at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, topping it for 19 straight weeks, but it also received diamond status, selling 10 million copies in record time: just 11 months after the original release. All this with his first official single!!

#9: His Stage Name Is a Tribute to the Rapper Nas

Before becoming Lil Nas X, the musician used Nas as part of the handle for his internet personality. He took the name from famous rapper Nas, who also uses it as a stage name and whose real name isNasir bin Olu Dara Jones. When deciding to start a rap career, Lil Nas X said he noticed a bunch of other new rappers would add “Lil” to their aliases. Thinking it’d be funny and wanting to do the same, Lil Nas was born. But once he started to gain fame, he added the X to distinguish himself from his namesake.

#8: He Was Linked to Nicki Minaj Controversy

LNX is what some would call an internet native. Before rising to fame as a musician, he was trying to grow a following on social media. Remember how we said part of the handle of his internet personality was “Nas”? Well, in his teen years, he actually ran a few fan Twitter accounts, including one under the name @nasmaraj. This was a combo of the names of rappers Nas - which we already mentioned - and Nicki Minaj, the latter of whom was born with the last name Maraj. However, in his attempt to go viral on Twitter, he also made fake accounts to interact with himself, and Twitter eventually banned the account for spamming. When asked about this following his popularity, he originally denied owning any Nicki Minaj fan accounts, but eventually came clean and apologized to Nicki for denying his association with her.

#7: He Worked with Fenty

Let’s be honest: who DOESN'T want to work with Rihanna? We know we do. And so did LNX. Once he got an inch of fame, he took it and turned it to a mile. In July 2020, reports came out that Rihanna had recruited the young artist to collaborate with her cosmetics brand, and in August, a video he participated in showing off a Fenty skin care routine was published. But his partnerships did not end there. In November 2020, LNX teamed up with Roblox to host a virtual concert within the game . In 2021, he went into fashion and teamed up with Jean Paul Gaultier. We can’t wait to see what collabs he is a part of in the future.

#6: Time Magazine Named Him One of the Internet’s Most Influential

The internet is a really really big place, so choosing the most influential people cannot be an easy task. But LNX made the list in 2019! Which is not that surprising considering the impact he had on the industry that year. Though some country fans were unhappy that the young artist's music was being considered part of the musical genre, he still entered the Country Airplay chart and found success on many other charts worldwide. He soon became the first person of color - as well as the first openly gay artist - to feature on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Country Acts in 2019 . He had people debating over his music while he was rolling in the big bucks from their streams. His influence also landed him on Forbes 30 under 30 list the next year.

#5: His Efforts for HIV/AIDS Awareness

The young artist is very good at using his platform to speak up about matters that are important to him. And he did just that at the 2021 MTV VMAs. He was set to perform with Jack Harlow during the award show. During their performance, there was a special guest on stage. Mardrequs Harris, who works for the Southern AIDS Coalition, joined the background dancers in clothes that looked like hot pink scrubs. He stood out in a black shirt with 433,816 printed across in red on the back though. This number represents how many people are living with HIV in the American south. LNX had no obligation to bring Harris on stage, but by doing so he brought attention to a really important issue.

#4: He Was the First Openly LGBTQ+ Black Performer to Receive a CMA Award

According to Lil Nas X himself, “Old Town Road” is country trap music. But the hip-hop and trap elements of the song made a lot of country fans pretty mad. So mad that some fans even wanted his music taken off the Billboard’s Hot Country chart when it found a spot on it in March 2019. Billboard seemed to agree that the song wasn’t country enough, and quickly but quietly took it off the chart. But that didn’t stop LNX or his song from garneering enough attention to get him nominated for a Country Music Association award. His - and Billy Ray Cyrus’- win for Musical Event of the Year made history and opened up a conversation about people of color in country music.

#3: He Released a Children's Book

He’s a man of many talents. In January 2021, LNX released a kids' book to help his young fans learn the alphabet called “C Is For Country.” Only three weeks after it became available, the book was already on the New York Times bestseller list. It’s like he has the Midas touch: everything he has a hand in creating turns straight to gold. The book goes through the alphabet with a glam country flare. We only hope his new album is received with the same amount of praise. But with his touch, we’re guessing it will be.

#2: “Old Town Road” Cost Lil Nas X $50 to Make

When a song breaks as many records as OTR, you would expect it would have been pretty costly to produce. But not when it’s LNX who makes it! At the time, he was living with his sister and working hourly jobs, so the track had to be cheap. To create “Old Town Road,” he bought a beat from a producer named YoungKio online for only $30. The beat samples a Nine Inch Nails song from 2008. Lil Nas X recorded the song at an Atlanta studio called CinCoYo in less than an hour, spending only $20 on booth time. He then released it on SoundCloud before the end of that fateful day in December 2018. The tune eventually went viral on TikTok and helped Lil Nas X become as successful as he is today.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

He Played Trumpet in School
He Is a Man of Many Talents

He Has Two Bernese Mountain Dogs
The Adopted Duo Are Named “Seven” & “Nine”

His Birth Name Is Montero Lamar Hill
He’s Named After the Car His Mom Wanted

Vogue Says Lil Nas X Brings “Glamor to the Wild West”
The Musician Knows How to Make a Statement with a Cowboy Hat

#1: He Didn’t Get Famous by Luck

This is where being a digital native proved to be helpful. When he released “Old Town Road,” instead of trying to promote his music through ads or sharing his song, LNX chose to try to turn his song into a meme. And boy, did it work. The popular country trap song got the attention of TikTok users and became a crucial part of the “Yeehaw” challenge. Since blowing up with his first song, LNX has consistently used social media and memes to promote his music to his specific audience base. Clearly, meme-making has been working for him so far!