Between the many gilded forms he took during the Met Gala 2021 and the controversy he incurred in the transgender community over his depiction of male pregnancy, rapper Lil Nas X is has been no stranger to the spotlight in his illustrious career as a gay rapper superstar.
Yet even this rising star has had his own humble beginnings.
Lil Nas X first rose to popularity with a Billy Ray Cyrus collab in "Old Town Road" back in 2018. The song quickly went viral, partially due to the "Yee Haw Challenge" on TikTok during the same year, where users posted videos of themselves taking a swig of "yee haw juice" and dressed in cowboy apparel while bopping to the song.
But where is Lil Nas X from? He was born and raised in Georgia!
Lil Nas X is originally from Lithia Springs, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. According to an interview with BBC Breakfast, he was originally named Montero Lamar Hill, and he was born on April 9, 1999.
In his teenage years, he had struggled with coming out as gay and initially tried to deny his sexuality. He has since learned to embrace it and hopes that his celeb status as a successful gay Black artist will open more doors for others to feel comfortable with their own identities.
The rapper also has his own share of guardians in his life. When he was 6 years old, his parents divorced, and he grew up in the Bankhead Courts housing project along with his mother and his grandmother.
Three years later, he moved in with his father, who happened to be a gospel singer, which must have played a big part in informing his career in music. He also grew up with several siblings and half-siblings, including two brothers, Lamarco Hill and Tramon Hill, half-sisters, Shaquisha Hill and Bianca Hill, and Ashley Stafford, and half-brothers Robert Sleepy and Labrock Anderson.
Lil Nas X came out to his father and sister before coming out publicly.
Even after becoming a superstar in the world of rap, Lil Nas X still maintains a strong relationship with his family, especially his father and the rest of his siblings. He came out as gay to his father and sister before ever revealing his sexuality to the public and has since begun to brandish his sexuality in his music.
He may have struggled throughout his childhood in Georgia, but he's since been on a meteoric rise as one of the first openly gay hip-hop artists working in the music industry.
"Growing up in the Atlanta area, I [saw] a lot of microaggressions towards homosexuality," he told Out magazine. "Little things like going into an IHOP and hearing one of your family members say ‘look at those f----ts’ to two people eating or even just a small [statement like] ‘boys don’t cry.’ Little s--t like living in the hood, not being super into sports, and then having to go outside and pretend that I was."
He continued, "Growing up, I didn’t realize it, but I’ve always been kind of my own hand on my own shoulder,” he said. “I had to lift myself up when I was down, from f--king 9 years old, because I don’t feel like me and my dad ever had a super emotional connection after he got custody of me and my brother, and I didn’t really get that with my mom and my siblings."
Even as he keeps growing in popularity, it's clear that Lil Nas X hasn't forgotten his roots.