The Real Meaning Behind Lil Nas X's 'Sun Goes Down'

These days, Lil Nas X is on top of the world. His ultra-smash hit "Old Town Road" broke Mariah Carey's record for weeks spent atop the Billboard Hot 100 and picked up two Grammy Awards along the way. In 2021, Nas X dispelled that he was a one-hit wonder once and for all when "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" debuted atop the Hot 100 and featured that music video that had the entire world talking. It seems that the 22-year-old artist can't stop winning, but it hasn't always been that way.

Before he was famous, Nas X ran a Nicki Minaj stan account on Twitter. When his career took off years later, people eventually connected the dots, but Nas X denied the connection. He did eventually own up to it, writing on Twitter "people will assume if you had an entire fan page dedicated to nicki u are gay. and the rap/music industry ain't exactly built or accepting of gay men yet."

Of course, he has embraced his sexuality, but Nas X has been open about his internal struggle in coming to terms with it. Ahead of the "MONTERO" drop, the artist shared a note written to his 14-year-old self. "i know we promised to never come out publicly," he wrote on Twitter. "i know we promised to die with this secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist."

On his new track "Sun Goes Down," Lil Nas X is reflecting on his life before coming out and getting famous.

Lil Nas X addresses being closeted on "Sun Goes Down"

This portion contains mentions of suicide.

While "MONTERO" addressed Lil Nas X fully embracing his sexuality, even at the risk of eternal damnation, "Sun Goes Down" carries a more grim meaning. On the track, Nas X seems to address suicidal ideation during his teenage years. "I wanna run away / Don't wanna lie / I don't want a life / Send me a gun / And I'll see the sun," he sings contemplatively.

In the verses, Nas X reflects on being bullied by his peers over his race and sexuality. "Since ten / I been feeling lonely / Had friends but they was picking on me / Always thinking why my lips so big / Was I too dark? Can they sense my fears?" he continues. Nas X goes on to address "gay thoughts" and praying that they would go away.

The artist also references his time in his teens on Twitter, singing, "I'd be by the phone / Stanning Nicki morning into dawn." He ultimately looks back on this part of his life positively: "Only place I felt like I belonged / Strangers make you feel so loved, you know?" And although much of the song is a grim reflection on a hard time in his life, he does ultimately arrive at a positive point after a "leap of faith," singing, "I'm happy that it all worked out for me / Imma make my fans so proud of me." It seems that Lil Nas X finally found the community he was searching for.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.