Lil Nas X Says BET Made Him Swear He Wasn’t A Satanist Before Allowing Him To Perform At Their Awards Show Last Year
The 2022 BET Awards were held last night, and if you know anything about this year’s ceremony, then you know that to Lil Nas X, BET stood for “Barred from Entry Tonight.” That’s because Lil Nas X was snubbed from this year’s award show. He received zero nominations, which was weird, considering he had three really big songs last year and a top-charting album. Lil Nas X recently spoke about his current relationship with BET, which is clearly pretty bad. But he thinks things started to go sour at last year’s ceremony.
There has been a lot of speculation over why Lil Nas X was ignored from this year’s nominations, but let’s just say his omission had big homophobia vibes. Because Jack Harlow did get a BET Award nomination, forgetting the fact that Jack’s most high-profile gig of last year was being featured on Lil Nas X’s song “Industry Baby.” BET responded by swearing up and down that they loved the diversity that Lil Nas X brings to the table, but that it wasn’t their fault he received zero nominations because BET employees don’t make up the voting academy.
Lil Nas X recently spoke to Rolling Stone about the situation, and he believes their feud goes back to last year’s show when they were clutching their pearls over his performance of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” You know, the song with the video where Lil Nas X backs his booty up onto Satan’s crotch? That one. Lil Nas X says that BET would only allow him to perform his massive hit on the condition that he keep it “appropriate” (aka no man-on-man lap dances) and promise that he’s not a Satanist. via NME:
“My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time. It didn’t start with this year’s nominations like most people might think,” Lil Nas X told Rolling Stone. “They did let me perform on their show last year, but only after [I gave] assurances that I was not a satanist or devil worshiper, and that my performance would be appropriate for their audience.”
An anonymous member of Lil Nas X’s team added this, saying that it felt really weird how hung up on the Satan element BET was when it came to Lil Nas X’s performance.
“The response we got [from BET] was, ‘We need to clarify a few things. Is he a Satanist? Are there going to be elements of devil worship or satan in the show?’ I was so taken aback by it. When Nas created “Montero,” he knew what he was doing. He wanted to create a queer-pop anthem. He wanted to make a statement based on what he’s heard from people probably his whole life as a gay man. That statement was very clear to me. But they’ve all missed the message so much that all they see is the devil.”
And surprise of all surprises, apparently some of BET’s feelings about Lil Nas X might stem from a dude-on-dude kiss that happened during the performance.
Lil Nas X and his team also allege that following the performance – which featured the rapper kissing one of his backup dancers – left certain network producers upset. According to Lil Nas X, despite BET’s claim that “no one cheered louder” for the rapper than them, the network “was actually very upset” about the onstage kiss and “vocalized their discontent with multiple members of my team immediately following the performance”.
Another member of Lil Nas X’s team claims that after the performance, a BET producer approached them and said the kiss was “fucked up.” But BET denies all of it. They released the following statement to Rolling Stone on the eve of this year’s awards, saying:
“Since last year’s performance, we have been in touch to work on other projects. We are still excited about his previous performances and continue to wish him well. But today, we are focused on culture’s biggest night and delivering history-making moments for fans worldwide.”
And Lil Nas X wasn’t totally erased from last night’s show. Jack Harlow paid tribute to his former collaborator on the red carpet.
Jack Harlow shows love to Lil Nas X on the #BETAwards Red Carpet. pic.twitter.com/rVREZrCsWW
— 𝙈𝘼𝙅𝙊𝙍 🔱 (@lilnasxmajor) June 26, 2022
So BET says there’s no bad blood and they’re total Montero stans, while Lil Nas X is basically telling them and their possible homophobia/Satanphobia to hit the dusty trail on that Old Town Road. Hmmm…only time will tell who is telling the truth here. Although if BET really wants to come away from this without looking homophobic or weird about some jokey Hell imagery, then they’ve go to do their best to follow through with those collaborations they spoke of in that statement. And that’s bound to get weird, considering Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Late to da Party (F*CK BET).” Some BET CEO is going to start an awkward phone call by sheepishly asking if that means Lil Nas X wants to literally fuck them. “Because we’re cool with that, we swear! We’ll even throw on some devil horns for good measure.”