6 Times Lil Nas X Called Out Homophobia In The Music Industry And The Black Community
Rapper Lil Nas X has taken the world and the rap industry by storm, and he’s only just started his career.
He has spoken openly about his struggles being a black gay artist in the music industry, especially when much of the industry is tainted by homophobia and negative attitudes towards gay people.
Through his music and unapologetic attitude, Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, challenged societal norms in the United States and made space for other queer black people to feel accepted.
Here are 6 times Lil Nas X spoke out against homophobia in the rap music industry.
1. Lil Nas X spoke out against the BET Awards and homophobia in the black community.
When the BET Awards announced their nominations last week, Lil Nas X was disappointed he was snubbed, according to Variety.
“Thank you BET Awards. zero outstanding nominations again. Black Excellence!” the ‘Industry Baby’ rapper tweeted.
When people replied to his tweet, telling him that his music didn’t qualify as hip-hop and therefore wouldn’t be nominated, Lil Nas X shot back that BET also has a pop category.
“It’s not a prize without a bet, this is the biggest homophobia issue in the black community, y’all can sit down and pretend all you want, but I’m gonna risk it all for us,” he said. he tweeted later.
When fans pointed out that Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean, themselves openly gay artists, had been nominated for the BET Awards, Lil Nas X fired back “Queer men get more respect when they do less feminine things.”
He apparently referenced his own experience of stirring up controversy and being subjected to homophobic comments online for participating in ‘womanly things’, including wearing dresses on red carpets and having male dancers in his videos. .
2. Few black male artists want to work with Lil Nas X.
When Lil Nas X unveiled the tracklist for his debut album “Montero,” many fans fired back at the rapper for the lack of black male collaborations on the album.
After being criticized for only collaborating with white women and men during his short career, Lil Nas X hit back with a heartbreaking responsetweeting: “Maybe a lot of [Black male rappers] just don’t want to work with me.”
In a separate tweet after the album’s release, Lil Nas X revealed that rapper Ski Mask wanted to be involved in the creation of the album, but he thinks there’s a reason most black rappers industry haven’t worked with him.
“Ski Mask was almost on ‘Scoop’ [feat. Doja Cat] but we had to give it back before it could finish,” he wrote. “Other than that, a lot of them just don’t. [f— with me] tbh.
3. He must have feared for his safety after speaking out about homophobia in rap.
In an interview with Variety, Lil Nas X opened up about the scary reactions he sometimes gets due to being genuine about his sexuality.
“The truth is, I don’t want to talk about homophobia in rap because I feel like it’s a very dangerous playground,” he said. “It’s for my own safety more than anything else.”
Asked if the backlash put him in danger, he said “absolutely,” adding that after dropping the music video for “Montero,” which featured him doing a trick dance to Satan , there was “literally someone chasing my car days after this video came out yelling, ‘F—- you!’ or something. And that’s when I started getting security.
4. Lil Nas X called out the double standard between straight and gay rappers.
On Twitter, political analyst Boyce D. Watkins wrote a far-fetched claim that Lil Nas X music and videos were “causing young men to die of AIDS”.
Lil Nas X rightly took issue with the tweet and tweet back: “you all shut up when the n—– dedicate all their music [catalog] rapping about having sex with multiple women, but when I do anything remotely sexual, I’m ‘being sexually irresponsible’ and ‘I’m killing more men from AIDS’… y’all hate gay people and don’t don’t hide it.
The rapper would go on to dedicate his performance at the 2021 VMAs to the fight against HIV/AIDS, with Mardrequs Harris of the Southern AIDS Coalition, who was on stage with Lil Nas X at the VMAs, having sported a jacket with the number 433,816 in red . This represents “the number of people living with HIV in the southern United States” in 2015.
5. When Boosie Badazz directed homophobic comments at him, Lil Nas X said, “I don’t care.”
In July 2021, Boosie defended rapper DaBaby’s homophobic comments at Rolling Loud Miami, while also calling out Lil Nas X, calling him “the world’s most disrespectful mother.”
After Lil Nas X joked on social media that he and Jack Harlow would be performing their hit song “Industry Baby” in their birthday suits (meaning completely naked) at the VMAs for charity, Boosie replied: “If I’m at the awards and he goes naked, I’m going to drag his a– off stage and beat his a–“.
Related stories from YourTango:
During an interview on “The Breakfast Club,” Lil Nas X responded to Boosie’s homophobic comments, saying he doesn’t mind as much as people think.
“I was listening to Boosie in the club the other day. I don’t care. Honestly, I wish they hadn’t said that, I guess,” he said.
“But I like the music, I’m going to listen to the music. If someone has a hard time with me, it doesn’t mean that I have a hard time with them.
Despite listening to Boosie’s music, Lil Nas X made it clear that he would never work with him, saying, “I like to forgive people, but I’m really not interested in doing a song with him.”
6. He felt it was his “duty” to come out when “Old Town Road” hit.
In a June 2019 interview with XXL, Lil Nas X reflected on coming out on top of his song’s success.
“I don’t think I would ever have come out,” he said. I feel like people can see through that and it’s part of me.
He also explained that he felt left out of the hip-hop community because he’s gay — that he didn’t feel “as respected in hip-hop or in a lot of music venues in general.”
“But these are communities that I’m a part of, whether people like it or not,” he said.
“It’s something I wanted to do because not all of my album is rap, but there are rap tracks on my album. I’m a rapper. I’m a pop star. I’m a gay artist But it’s like I belong in those places, you know?
More for you on YourTango:
Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues and current affairs. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.