Lil Nas X wanted to test just how tolerant and welcoming some of y’all really are when it comes to treating people equally. So, the 21-year-old, gay Black man celebrated his sexuality and put our boundaries to the test with his video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”
And some of you truly showed your whole entire ass by expressing your outrage on social media due to the imagery in the video.
But more on that later.
“What Montero Lamar Hill was showing you is that he isn’t afraid of the hell that some of you have already put him in for being gay.”
And it wasn’t necessarily what was in the video but who was behind those “provocative” and “evil” images.
To be Black is one thing that this country is still trying to accept.
To be Black and gay is something different altogether that we haven’t come to grips with yet. Not just as a country, but also as a community.
What Montero Lamar Hill was showing you is that he isn’t afraid of the hell that some of you have already put him in for being gay. The one that goes beyond color lines and castigates those who commit the sin of loving those of the same sex. As if that sin is any more significant than say; adultery, telling a lie or the various other transgressions that we tend to commit daily but choose to interpret as if one is bigger than the other.
There is no ranking system.
But I digress. This isn’t just about religion. This is about hypocrisy and being exposed by a young man who truly has done nobody any harm by choosing to be himself.
“i spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s–t y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay,” Lil Nas X tweeted on March 27. “So i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”
It was eye-opening to see so many people who allege they want equality for people of color blatantly lack the same tact when approaching Nas X’s message in the video. Apparently, giving satan a lap dance as performative art is a little too much for some of you. Although there have been far, far worse things done to women in rap videos with barely bat an eyelash.
Be equal in your outrage, if that’s what you choose to do.
Otherwise, your silence on the matter is golden.
And then there’s the hypocrisy of those who said that Lil Nas X made music for children. No, he didn’t. Children just happened to like a song that spent nineteen weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was inevitable. “Old Town Road” was catchy as hell. But it was never intended for children. Like Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle” wasn’t made for the kids but rest assured that teenagers were absolutely shouting “Bitch” because that’s Short’s favorite word.
“Riding on a tractor/Lean all in my bladder/Cheated on my baby/You can go and ask her/My life is a movie/Bull riding and boobies,” Nas X said on the song.
Nope. Definitely not for the children. Like R-rated movies that you shouldn’t have been watching but definitely did growing up. It’s okay. Just be consistent with your outrage.
To double down on the hypocrisy, an outpouring of people were offended by the imagery in the video. They shouted down the “evil,” “satanic” and “demonic” visuals as Lil Nas X was blocked from heaven due to his sexuality and ends up seducing Satan before murdering him and taking his place as the king of the netherworld.
And if this is coming from the 30+ crowd, how dare you? Like you weren’t playing Bone Thugs N Harmony at ignorant levels as they rhymed catchy tunes such as “Mr. Oujja” and “Mo’ Murda.” Big L was “rollin’ with Satan, not Jesus Christ” as the “Devil’s Son.”
Maybe you attribute it to “growing up.” But you probably didn’t.
What did you have to say about Three 6 Mafia? Their name was the mark of the gotdamn beast for Christ’s sake! That didn’t stop anyone from bumping “Still Fly,” did it? To keep it current, Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin album was full of satanic references, wasn’t it?
I mean, when Nas was 12 he went to hell for snuffin’ Jesus. That’s about as blasphemous as you can get. Yet, none of y’all said anything. But, oh, when a gay man goes down that path—not even lyrically, but artistically in a video—it’s different, right?
To be clear, if you were offended by Gravediggaz, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Brutha Lynch Hung and any of the aforementioned artists and have kept that energy throughout, this column isn’t for you. However, if you aim to exile Lil Nas X because of his sexuality and how he expresses himself artistically in the “Montero” video, this is absolutely for you. You don’t have to like the song. Hell, you don’t have to agree with what he says. But you need to respect it. Just like you ask people to respect #BlackLivesMatter and wanted to be recognized and accepted for our cultural differences.
Black queer people have suffered exclusion and both physical and psychological violence for years courtesy of the church doctrines that have caused internal conflict in our community. But Lil Nas X won’t tolerate your rampant homophobia and doublespeak of being an ally in the struggle.
He refuses to allow his struggle to be ignored.
And those sneakers that everyone is up in arms about? Here’s the perfect response by Mega Ran:
As Black Monday’s Yassir Lester so eloquently put it on: “People are mad that Nas X is gay. The end.”