Lil Nas X Opened Up About Drake And Nicki Minaj Turning Down Features On His Album


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.

Axelle / FilmMagic / Getty Images

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.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 26: Jeremy O. Harris attends the 74th Annual Tony Awards at Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”683″,”width”:”683″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”61″},”thumbnail_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2021-11/15/20/asset/d590bc6ff5e6/sub-buzz-8097-1637006481-12.jpg?crop=683:683;0,61″,”alt_text”:”Jeremy O. Harris wearing a suit and platform shoes at the Tony awards”}], “id”: 128172469, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:128172469}”} } ]]>

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards, Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

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.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: Lil Nas X (R) accepts the Favorite Song – Rap/Hip-Hop award for ‘Old Town Road’ from Megan Thee Stallion onstage during the 2019 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/AMA2019/FilmMagic for dcp)”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”682″,”width”:”682″,”x_offset”:”70″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2021-11/15/20/asset/d590bc6ff5e6/sub-buzz-8097-1637006585-16.jpg?crop=682:682;70,0″,”alt_text”:””}], “id”: 128172492, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:128172492}”} } ]]>

Jason Mendez / Getty Images, Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic for dcp

“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].”

THE BROOKLYN BOROUGH OF NEW YORK CITY, NY – NOVEMBER 06: Rapper Nicki Minaj attends the 14th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards at Weylin B. Seymour’s on November 6, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”1022″,”width”:”681″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2021-11/15/20/asset/d590bc6ff5e6/sub-buzz-8118-1637006963-14.jpg?crop=681:1022;0,0″,”alt_text”:”Nicki poses for photographers on the red carpet at an event”}], “id”: 128172494, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:128172494}”} } ]]>

Kevin Winter / Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

“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.”

View this video on YouTube

Columbia Records / Via youtube.com

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.”

Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

Lil Nas X didn’t give any further details on Nicki’s feature, however.

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.”

Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: Lil Nas X attends the 2019 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”1024″,”width”:”683″,”x_offset”:”16″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2021-11/15/20/asset/1a1ebf066e79/sub-buzz-7450-1637007262-4.jpg?crop=683:1024;16,0″,”alt_text”:””}], “id”: 128172655, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:128172655}”} } ]]>

John Sciulli / Getty Images, Rich Fury / Getty Images

TBH, I would like to see it!

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

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!