After Lil Nas X released his latest single, “Industry Baby,” the anti-gay crowd was quick to pounce. And the out superstar quickly pushed back with his trademark wit and social media savvy.
The video is set in prison following the legal proceedings over his “Satan shoes,” but the cheeky joke has a serious side as well. He teamed up with the charity The Bail Project, a group that posts cash bails for people in jail awaiting trial and working to end the racist and discriminatory policy altogether.
The video features Lil Nas X twerking in the shower with a bunch of naked dancers and the lyric “I don’t fuck bitches/I’m queer but these n***a bitches like Madea” has become the quotable line in the song.
While the rapper famously came out at his song “Old Town Road” was number one worldwide and he’s deliberately included gay themes in his songs and music videos, his critics have frequently used it to attack him. They can’t argue with the quality of his music or his artistry, so they reach for the low hanging fruit.
Lil Nas X pointed that out in one sharp tweet, flatly saying the reason the people are complaining is simple: “Y’all hate gay people.”
While the rapper has taken blowback for kissing scantily clad male dancers and including sexual themes in his videos and lyrics, the vast majority of straight pop and rap artists do the same. Mainstream audiences are fine with sex and PDA – as long as it’s straight.
“y’all be silent as hell when n***as dedicate their entire music catalogue to rapping about sleeping with multiple women. but when I do anything remotely sexual I’m ‘being sexually irresponsible’ & ‘causing more men to die from aids’ y’all hate gay ppl and don’t hide it,” he tweeted in response to one troll.
And when People Magazine tried to frame the ugliness as “Lil Nas X Responds to Criticism of His ‘Industry Baby’ Music Video: ‘Y’all Hate Gay People’,” the rapper quickly responded.
“y’all know exactly what you’re doing with this caption :/,” he shot back with a link to the article
“criticism is ‘this song is not good’ not someone saying ‘you are the reason people are getting aids’ :/,” he added.
Twitter troll Tariq Nasheed also tried to get in on the pearl clutching with little success. Nasheed, who regularly attacks LGBTQ people as a threat to Black culture, has previously led an online mob to harass a mentally ill gay man who had a breakdown at work.
“White corporate music execs funded a music video with Lil Nas X, where a bunch of Black men are in prison twerking,” Nasheed tweeted. “And the lone white man, Jack Harlow is sexually involved with a FEMALE guard. But all the Black men are sexually engaging with each other. This is progress?”
“lemme explain,” Lil Nas responded. “lil nas = gay so he wit boy”
“jack harlow = straight so he wit girl got it??”
One user perfectly encapsulated the non-issue by turning the tables.
“Look,” they tweeted. “I get we’re trying to be progressive but is the world really ready for straight representation in media? They should keep it in the bedroom and not flaunt it in our faces imo.”
This isn’t the first time the artist has had to defend being visibly queer while still sweeping the charts with millions of worldwide fans.
After his performance of “Montero” at the BET Awards went viral, he shot back at an older gay man who complained he was too “sexual.”
“y’all hate yourselves so much. y’all live your lives trying your best to appease straight ppl,” he responded. “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,” he added. “get there.”
y’all be silent as hell when niggas dedicate their entire music catalogue to rapping about sleeping with multiple women. but when i do anything remotely sexual i’m “being sexually irresponsible” & “causing more men to die from aids” y’all hate gay ppl and don’t hide it. https://t.co/ZiwbYcIH5l
— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) July 25, 2021
criticism is “this song is not good” not someone saying “you are the reason people are getting aids” :/
— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) July 26, 2021
Look, I get we're trying to be progressive but is the world really ready for straight representation in media? They should keep it in the bedroom and not flaunt it in our faces imo.
— Fully Vaccinated Luxury Bi Space Otter (@AdmKrazinsky) July 24, 2021
yes manipulation is real. agendas are real. i just simply don’t believe me in a fictional prison with twerking men could lead to a heterosexual man deciding to suck dick. https://t.co/bi5p5VVmmr
— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) July 24, 2021
And this is called projection. pic.twitter.com/NNtQbEzOV3
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) July 24, 2021
many, if not all, of these artists had to hide their sexuality for majority of their career. you seem to only respect gay artists when the gay part is tucked away. you don’t like me because i embrace my sexuality instead of hiding it and never speaking on it for your comfort. https://t.co/s1e4V6Uh1n
— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) July 25, 2021
like the song is literally about gay sex what y’all want me to do play the piano while baking a cake? https://t.co/bzStSa3pYY
— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) June 28, 2021