Jeremy O. Harris: I have a certain affinity for you. In part, my work Slave Play it became so popular because I worked outside the usual margins of what people do in theater.
Lil Nas X: I have to see her.
On the internet they call me “playwright influence”, as a way of underestimating myself and my work.
But what is the problem with “influence”? Why influence has such a bad connotation?
Why do you think?
Because there is a new generation of celebrities, and I think a lot of people are uncomfortable. But I think it’s cool. I think walls are coming down. Anyone can be a celebrity. I know a lot of people see it as a bad thing, but you have to work harder to stay there.
I’m sure that’s what you felt when your album, Montero, it did not reach number one.
I did feel that way, but then I got over it, and all I was thinking about was how lucky I am. And where was it three years ago. No one thought it would get here. Everybody told me “phenomenon song over here, phenomenon song over there”. And now I have Drake for competition, he is incredible.
Your competition is fucking Drake.
Drake, with that great album and with the best sales in one week of the year. Also, Drake is my idol. Too many good things have happened to me to feel bad.
When you were working on the album, how many times did the people you proposed to collaborate with say ‘No thanks’?
I don’t usually propose collaborations like that, but of all the proposals I made for this album, almost all of them worked … Except Drake and Nicki [Minaj].
Wait, did you ask Drake and Nicki?
What song did you want them to come out in?
I did not say so directly. I wanted Nicki in Industry Baby and I wanted Drake in Dolla Sign Slime con Megan [Thee Stallion]. But you know what? I think that in the end everything works in one way or another. Jack Harlow ended up being the best option. I’m not sure Nicki would have been comfortable with that video.
Who have you been dating lately?
Guys. Guys. Guys.
So no girls. I thought you were dating girls.
I stopped dating girls.
Since I’m older than you, I can give you some dating tips. The first thing I thought when I heard Montero (Call Me By Your Name) it was a really sad song.
Seriously? I was not at the right time to Call Me By Your Name.
I cared about you, especially when you said “I only fuck people I envy.”
But I want to fuck people I envy.
That line, itself, is a terrifyingly honest portrait of the loneliness of being young, black, and queer, looking for affirmations in all the wrong places. The images on the single also struck hitherto unknown chords: There were openly gay people, an invocation of Satan, and the specter of the many American children, including my nieces and nephews, who knew almost every word. Montero (Call Me By Your Name) became the most listened to song detailing the manifest desire of black gay men in American popular culture.
It is a sublime song and I think it is one of the most perfect manifestations of desire queer I’ve never heard People don’t understand how sad it is.
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Lil Nas X is in the right place at the right time