Both are well-known in the rap game, but does a similar rap name make them related?
Lil Nas X and Nas do not share any kind of relation. Lil Nas X had been going by the alias “Lil Nas” since he started rapping, and put the “X” at the end after he realized his potential in the rap industry was getting more serious.
One is an OG in the rap and hip-hop industry, and the other shot to fame as a meme-rapper turned mainstream artist. Let’s take a thorough look at the history behind their names, and where they’ve crossed paths.
Perhaps a Name Change is On The Cards
Born Montero Lamar Hill, Lil Nas X rose to stardom through his sheer determination and a knack for virality.
His country-rap blend “Old Town Road” skyrocketed to the top of the charts in 2019 after its release in 2018, peaking at No. 1 in the US, Australia, Canada, and throughout Europe.
Lil Nas X was very much a rapper for the modern ages, having boosted popularity for “Old Town Road” through TikTok.
“People were like, ‘Where are these memes coming from?’” he once said. “If you see something going around the Internet, people want to join in.”
On the origins of his stage name, Montero had this to say: “The X wasn’t included at first. It was just Lil Nas. It was Lil Nas because when I first started rapping I wasn’t as serious so it was like, ‘Okay, every rapper’s name is starting with Lil lately.’”
He continued, “So I kind of got stuck with it. I added the X later on after I was more serious. It would stand for the amount of years, I felt, until I’m at the status where I’m considered legendary.”
It’s unclear whether Montero’s name choice was an homage to an idol, however he has referred to the similarity in a past tweet, asserting that “nas is a legend and i never meant any disrespect by my stage name.”
In the same tweet, he hinted to the thought of changing his rap name: “i might actually change it in the future.”
No Bad Blood
Nas, real name Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, had several rap names before settling on his current choice. The name was a play on Nasir, which led to “Nasty”, before he settled on Nas.
He came onto the scene in 1991, and released his first studio album on April 19th 1994 called Illmatic. It reached the No. 2 spot on the US R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts and was a huge hit with critics.
His following two albums, It Was Wriiten (1996) and I Am… (1999) both peaked No. 1 on the US charts.
Nas has solidified himself as one of the best rappers in the hip-hop industry, so it was no surprise that Lil Nas X received some backlash from the name resemblance.
Lil Nas X is not the son of Nas, nor is he related to him in any way.
Nas has a daughter named Destiny Jones with his ex-fiancée Carmen Bryan, and a son called Knight with his ex-wife R&B singer Kelis.
On the 21st of June in 2019, Lil Nas X released a song called Rodeo featuring Cardi B. it was another country-rap track, reaching the 12th spot on the US R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.
It wasn’t until the 27th of January 2020 that he released a remix of the song, this time featuring none other than…Nas. It was an exciting collab that confirmed for many fans that Nas had no feelings of bad blood towards the young rapper for a similar name.
On collaborating with the legend, Lil Nas X said, “”It feels amazing to have a track with Nas, and for Nas to acknowledge me.”