Out rapper Lil Nas X expressed disappointment over not being nominated for this year’s Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards. When the awards show released its nominee list on Wednesday, the rapper posted several now-deleted tweets slamming the awards show and suggesting that it snubbed him because of his gayness.
Nas’s September 2021 album Montero snagged him no BET Awards nominations in categories like Best Male R&B/Pop Artist, Best Collaboration, or Video of the Year despite its massive popularity. The snub was notable considering that three of the album’s 15 tracks topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the recording industry’s measure of the nation’s most commercially successful music.
After the awards show released its nominee list, Nas wrote, “thank you bet awards. an outstanding zero nominations again. black excellence!”
When a commenter asked why Nas thought he deserved a nomination, the rapper responded, “[I don’t know] maybe 3 of the biggest songs of last year & a critically acclaimed album… i feel like that should’ve helped me a bit.”
He later wrote, “i just feel like black gay ppl have to fight to be seen in this world and even when we make it to the top [motherf**kers] try to pretend we are invisible.”
He deleted the three tweets on Wednesday evening, but screenshots of them went viral regardless.
The awards show has recognized Nas in the past. In 2020, the BET Awards nominated him for Best New Artist, but he didn’t win. He also stole the spotlight at the 2021 BET Awards show by kissing his male dancers while performing his song, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).” The kiss caused some viewers to complain to the Federal Communications Commission.
Nas’s work has also been recognized by other awards shows. In 2022, the Grammys nominated the rapper’s aforementioned song for Song of the Year, its video for Video of the Year, and his album for Record of the Year. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t win any of the awards.
His music has also previously won honors from the MTV Music Awards, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, the GLAAD Media Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and the BET Hip Hop Awards.
On June 16, Nas will receive the Hal David Starlight Award at the 2022 Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony. The award recognizes “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs.”
The hall of fame’s chair Nile Rodgers said in a statement to Variety, “Lil Nas X is someone we are very proud to award the Hal David Starlight Award to. He has perhaps better than anyone demonstrated how powerful great songs are, with ‘Old Town Road’ and ‘Montero’ dominating the charts for almost every day of the last three years.”
“If you’re lucky enough to be alive at this time, you know exactly who Lil Nas X is and he’s an incredible and inspirational person for every one of his communities as well.”