Lil Nas X reportedly refused to perform his hit song “Old Town Road” with Mayor Pete Buttigieg — a self-described “fan” of the rapper — at BuzzFeed’s “Internet Live” event on Thursday.
Sources told the Daily Beast that the openly gay 2020 Democratic hopeful was in talks to appear on stage with Nas X, who came out as gay earlier this month, but the 20-year-old shot down the idea.
It wasn’t that he disliked Buttigieg, the sources said, only that he wanted to stay out of the political scene and didn’t want to appear as if he was endorsing a presidential candidate.
The 37-year-old South Bend mayor has spoken about his admiration for Nas X in the past, calling him a “groundbreaking musician.”
“As a fan, I’m thrilled and inspired to see him standing in his truth as a member of the LGBTQ community, Buttigieg tweeted after the performer came out. “Welcome to the family!”
At least one other presidential candidate — Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan — has used “Old Town Road” at one of his events.
The song, which also features singer Billy Ray Cyrus, catapulted Nas X into the spotlight earlier this year. It has over 230 million views on YouTube and tied the record this week for longest streak as a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 — at 16 weeks.
A number of celebrities and influencers appeared at the “Internet Live” event on Thursday, held in New York’s Webster Hall. But all eyes were on Nas X — who stole the show in a custom holographic suit.
Mayor de Blasio was also at the event, and chose to talk politics.
“I challenge you, Donald Trump, to come to New York City, and I will debate you about what’s right for New York City,” Hizzoner declared, adding that BuzzFeed would “host it.”
Buttigieg chose not to speak after being denied by Nas X, according to the Beast. His campaign declined to comment when reached by the outlet Friday.