Performing “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, the rapper shared a kiss with a male dancer at the end of the set. In the moment, the move drew cheers and some standing ovations.
On social media, however, some users unleashed homophobic remarks, with one person exclaiming, “DON'T USE AFRICAN CULTURE FOR S***S LIKE THIS!!!! RESPECT OUR ANCESTORS.” (Lil Nas X was dressed like an Egyptian pharaoh during his performance.)
“Y'all really like to pretend homosexuality didn't exist in African culture,” Nas wrote in response.
Later, on 28 June, Nas followed up, writing, “Y’all hate yourselves so much. Y’all live your lives trying your best to appease straight ppl. Y’all are uncomfortable with what I do because y’all are afraid they will be uncomfortable with you. Work on yourselves, I love who I am and whatever I decide to do. Get there.”
Nas also commented on how “we are 4 months in” to Montero’s release “and people are still acting surprised that i am being gay and sexual in performances of a song about gay and sexual s***”.
“Like the song is literally about gay sex what y’all want me to do play the piano while baking a cake?”
“As a fellow Black queer person, I'm so f***ing proud of you my dude. I see you up on stage, being yourself, feeling yourself, and I cannot express how f***ing grateful I am to see it. I'm proud you're out here, being proud of you. Makes me feel good to be me, too.”
“Montero” is the star's second number one after “Old Town Road”, a country-rap track that spent a record 19 weeks at the top of the US chart in 2019.
While its accompanying music video received praise from fans, fellow artists and critics upon release, the rapper received a backlash from right-wing pundits in the US over the provocative religious context.
“There was no system involved. I made the decision to create the music video,” he said in response to one critic who accused him of setting a bad example to his younger fans.
“I am an adult. I am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. That is your job.”