As two LGBTQIA+ voices in the Hip Hop industry, Lil Nas X being interviewed by Kevin Abstract is a meeting of the minds that just makes sense. They both have been open about their sexuality in a genre that is not as widely accepting of gay artists, especially among men, but they have forged paths that have resulted in both acquiring success in their own right.

In the latest issue of VMAN magazine, Abstract catches up with Lil Nas X to discuss the “Industry Baby” musician’s meteoric rise while also dealing out questions about his interests and influences. Growing up, Nas X listened to the likes of Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry, but he admitted to having a “50 Cent phase” as well.

“Strangely, I also had a big 50 Cent phase when I was young, and following that was probably my Tyler, The Creator and Frank [Ocean] phase. I was into a lot of different stuff,” he said. The Brockhampton artist questioned Lil Nas X about his thoughts regarding the openness of Frank Ocean and if that aided in him being vocal about his own sexuality.

“I feel like without Frank and people like you—it definitely would’ve been much more scary,” said Nas X. “I feel like for everybody, no matter who the artist is, there’s always some person that in some way made them feel slightly more okay with doing something and being themselves…you know? That’s what you guys did for me.”

“Honestly, you did that for me, at a time where I wasn’t fully comfortable with who I was,” he continued. “Especially ‘cause you’re like, really straightforward a lot of times with your lyrics. With a lot of gay artists, understandably, it’s very much metaphor. It’s almost like this could possibly be about a guy.”

Elsewhere, the two chatted about Lil Nas X’s dating life and coming into his own while in college. Check out a few photos from his VMan feature below.