Back when Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” came out in 2019, Billboard wouldn’t allow it to appear on the country chart because it didn’t “embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current form.” But now, things are different, which is making Nas feel regretful.

Beyoncé‘s foray into country music, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” was #1 for 10 weeks on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart, and then it was replaced by “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” by another Black artist, Shaboozey. “A Bar Song” interpolates the 2004 rap hit “Tipsy” by J-Kwon.

Lil Nas X tells the BBC that he’s “happy” that Bey and Shaboozey are having success on the country charts but admits, “I wish this would have happened for me. I wasn’t even able to experience this.”

Asked if he’s now tempted to try that genre out again, Nas tells the BBC that he’s been “trying out some country [sounds] here and there over the last couple of years” but adds, “I want to feel connected to it and not force it.” 

These days, Nas says he feels “less focused on creating hits,” but he won’t go so far as to say that they don’t matter to him any more.

“Of course I know my own worth, but these are the things that are going to feed your family and the people around you who have helped build what you’re creating,” he explains. “So it’s important. I can’t just say [screw] hits, because I need them.”

Lil Nas’ latest hit is his collab with Camila Cabello, “He Knows.” 

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