Lil Nas X Explained Why Two Major Rappers Declined Being Featured On "Montero," And Added That "Things Always Work Out"

    Lil Nas X previously opened up about his features, saying that Drake was directing his focus on Certified Lover Boy at the time.

    Dear readers, I have just received the most life-changing news about Lil Nas X's debut album, Montero.

    Lil Nas X at a red carpet event rocking a brightly-colored textured suit with feathers on the ends of the sleeve

    Yeah, whatever, I'm being dramatic, but it's completely warranted! In a new Q&A with playwright Jeremy O. Harris for GQ, the 22-year-old revealed that some of his songs could have sounded entirely different.

    Two of Lil Nas X's collaborations — the chart-topping "Industry Baby" with Jack Harlow and the trumpet-backed "Dolla Sign Slime" with Megan Thee Stallion — were planned to feature other artists.

    "I don’t usually ask for features like that," the singer-rapper shared. "But for every feature I did ask for on this album, like, every single one of them worked…besides Drake and Nicki [Minaj]."

    "I didn’t ask them directly," Lil Nas X clarified, adding that he wanted Nicki on "Industry Baby" and Drake on "Dolla Sign Slime."

    But all's well that ends well. "I feel like things always work out," he explained. "Jack Harlow ended up being, like, the best option. I’m not sure how comfortable Nicki would have felt with that video or whatnot."

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    The video for "Industry Baby" — in Lil Nas X's words — subverts the prison trope of "dropping the soap," featuring naked prisoners in the shower, alongside other imagery. In a video breakdown, he said, "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. That's how I knew he would be perfect for this song."

    Back in September, Lil Nas X appeared on The Breakfast Club, where he mentioned Nicki and Drake declining features. He said, "[Drake] was still working on Certified Lover Boy, and he was 100% focused on that, and I understood completely. And he said he's down to do something, but just [it wasn't] the right time."

    While speaking to Jeremy, Lil Nas X also reflected on his journey thus far, saying that he feels "blessed" for his platform. "Nobody even thought that I would be here. Everybody was like, 'One-hit-wonder this, one-hit-wonder that.' And now it’s amazing that my competition was Drake," he said, adding that the Toronto-born rapper is his "idol."

    Lil Nas performs onstage in leather pants with a flame motif as he's surrounded by backup dancers

    He also joked about a potential feature with Azealia Banks — the gifted New York City–based rapper who has a penchant for starting any and all kinds of beef. When told to put her on a track, Lil Nas X said, "Azealia shits on me too much, though! And I think it’s funny in a way. I still love Azealia Banks' music."

    To read the rest of Lil Nas X's Q&A over at GQ, click here.