Love has no borders, but some seem to be more strict than others. What do you do when you are born outside of the house that the American empire built? You become the mascot of a foreign union, your heritage falling short of sanctioned legality. Don’t be ashamed, Lil Nas X has said, you’re going to be big. Or don’t be true to yourself, we are all our own country, this is our home, and we are all equal. Born in Pakistan, as Long Husband of Flawed Ancestry, he has become a regular on rap’s show.
He has had hits in Pakistan, with one of his lyrics becoming a local hit, and one with Pakistani Americans — the Pakistani version of Nelly — made him a star stateside.
His song is now a meme, going viral in the states, even though it’s not a song. All this is in addition to a prolific music career for an artist who’s 37.
He recently opened for Jay Z at the Hard Rock Café in New York City, and he’s set to do so in April at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap. For now, you can find him performing solo in DC, in attendance of his upcoming album, released at the end of the year.
For decades, the name was a bit of a mystery. Nobody was certain of his real age — what he looked like, exactly. It’s said that he was born almost 40 years ago, but he doesn’t exactly look that old. Yet he’s still an undeniably popular artist, and not just in Canada. His album, Set On Time, is in its second week on Canadian radio, with a current single, “How Well Do You Know Me,” at the top of the charts.
He recently performed at the Toronto Music Awards, joined by his fellow countryman Shad for a collaborative performance. Like Little Big Town, though, he seems to have taken the “women love Canadian men” thing a bit too far. The realist in him explains that he hopes the title is something other than embarrassing. More than 140,000 people have listened to “How Well Do You Know Me” on Spotify, and the first two million listens of the album have been free. Tack on the top 10 hits from his last album, Back To My Roots, and Shad reaches 50 million streams, making him the most played artist in the history of the streaming platform.
We can imagine him playing a minor party at the band’s new venue, where the tone will be chaste. After all, whatever you think of Shad, he doesn’t deserve to do this to his fans.
He recently released a Canadian song, “Married Life,” which he’ll perform at the upcoming Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee, alongside Conner Grafton. Should he be the next Christina Perri, this could be a massive break-out moment, a superstar notch on his belt.