The 21-year-old was behind a dedicated fan page for Minaj, 37, called NasMaraj on Twitter. After several outlets theorized last year that Lil Nas X was behind the account, he vehemently denied it because he wasn't out as a gay man at the time.
On June 16, the "Old Town Road" rapper replied to one of Minaj’s tweet and said, “I have this song I want u on and was wondering....” along with a meme that said, “I am proposing.”
A fan of Minaj, widely known as ‘Barbs,’ called out Lil Nas X for denying that he was a fan of the “Yikes” rapper last year. “How come you never claimed her when people asked if you were a barb?? We all knew who you were,” the fan asked.
“I didn’t want people to know I was gay tbh,” Lil Nas X said in response.
Another Barb chimed in and said being a fan of Minaj “don’t make you gay.”
Lil Nas X then explained his rationale at the time he denied making the fan account.
“It don’t but people will assume if you had an entire fan page dedicated to Nicki u are gay,” he said. “And the rap/music industry ain’t exactly built or accepting of gay men yet.”
Minaj 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."
Lil Nas X thanked Minaj for understanding.
"The generous queen, I love u. and I’m sorry I did that in a time where u were already getting so much bandwagon hate," he wrote. "I felt so bad, hoping u wouldn’t see my denial. I was just so afraid of people finding out about me and losing everything before I even got a chance."
Several outlets identified Lil Nas X as the creator behind Nasmaraj, but his team denied it in a statement to Hot New Hip Hop in March 2019.
The “Panini” rapper spoke out about it further in an interview with NPR.
"It's like a big misunderstanding and it's not one that I even want to give the time, because I'm never putting someone as the face of my career," he said. "So I don't even speak on it. I just don't even acknowledge it, really. I know even more things are being made up and they're gonna be out there. It is disappointing when a big blog will post something without me talking about it but, I mean, it happens."
Lil Nas X came out as gay two months later.