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Lil Nas X named Pride icon with huge Philadelphia mural

The famous pop singer Lil Nas X has been featured in a giant three-story-tall mural in the ‘Gayborhood’ area of downtown Philadelphia, solidifying his place as a Pride icon.

Lil Nas X has been honoured with a giant three-story-tall mural in Philadelphia to kick off Pride Month.

The artwork is on full display in the ‘Gayborhood’ area downtown, and features three separate costumes based on aesthetics from his recent music videos for ‘MONTERO’ and ‘SUN GOES DOWN’.

Both singles discuss and celebrate Lil Nas X’s personal journey with understanding his own sexuality and have dominated the charts since release.

The mural is 36-by-36 feet large, and is located on the wall of the Writer’s Block Rehab bar on Cypress Street. The artist behind the work, Ash Ryan, was commissioned by the bar’s owner Ram Krishnan to produce the piece in time for June.

Speaking to Variety, Krishnan says he wanted to feature a Pride icon that had ‘made a name for himself in Black gay culture’. He describes Lil Nas X as ‘an innovator, an artist who best represents Black culture and queer culture.’

Lil Nas X has been making waves across the music industry for his unapologetically authentic music videos that disregard heterosexual norms.

The video for ‘MONTERO’ features Lil Nas X falling down a stripper pole into hell and giving the devil a lap dance. It’s fiery, explosive, and celebratory of LGBTQ+ culture.

Initially receiving backlash from conservatives and older viewers, the Satanic merchandise made to coincide with the single also came under heavy fire. The ‘Satan shoe’ originally featured a drop of human blood inside customised Nike Air Max 97s, but a bunch of legal issues has forced a recall.

Despite all these troubles, he has remained vigilant in his desire to represent the LGBTQ+ community.

In an interview with The Guardian last year, Lil Nas X spoke about how he has embraced his new status as a figurehead within pop music.

He is part of a growing cohort of young millennials and Gen Z musicians that are opening the doors for LGBTQ+ artists in traditionally heterosexual and even homophobic genres.

Both Kevin Abstract and Tyler, The Creator have revelled in their sexuality on recent works, with the former publicly stating he wants homosexual lyrics and themes to be considered normal in hip-hop. Doja Cat is also openly bisexual, and is not afraid to explore sexual themes throughout her albums.

Philadelphia’s new mural is testament to this change and is evidence of Lil Nas X’s impressive impact within the industry at such a young age. We’ve yet to even hear his album in full yet too – the sky is truly the limit.

So, any US readers out there, make sure you check out this new mural for Pride month. We’ll be streaming Lil Nas X’s bangers from across the pond in the meantime.


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