AceShowbiz - Country music rapper Lil Nas X is aiming to change the world for the better with his new children's picture book by encouraging kids and their families to celebrate individuality.
The "Old Town Road" hitmaker, who 'came out' as a gay man in 2019, admits he didn't really have anyone who championed his differences or sexuality growing up, so he was determined to show encouragement to readers of his "C Is for Country" alphabet book.
Describing the message of his release, he told U.S. breakfast show "Today" he wants youngsters to feel empowered to "really do whatever you want and be who you wanna be, but genuinely."
"I know a lot of times we hear it growing up, but people don't really mean it," he explained. "It's like, 'Be who you want, but be who I want you to be.'"
Confessing he lacked that kind of support as a kid, he said, "That's what I hope to change (for future generations)."
And Lil Nas X admits he's still on his journey of self-acceptance. "I feel like I'm still on that path, I just become more of myself every day, and try to be open about who I am or who I'm becoming... and just be authentic with that," he added.
"C Is for Country" features illustrations by Theodore Taylor III and is available now through Random House Children's Books.
Last year, Lil Nas X did admit to hiding a Nicki Minaj fan account that he ran because he was afraid of being outed as gay.
Nicki later responded, "It was a bit of a sting when you denied being a barb, but I understand. Congratulations on building up your confidence to speak your truth."