Lil Nas X once again shows he’s not fazed by hip-hop’s homophobia
Lil Nas X is just out here living his life and people still want him dead for it.
Lil Nas X is simply out here living his life, giving mainstream representation for gay Black men in spaces from which they’ve historically been shunned, and keeping his skin gloriously moisturized.
And yet, people still want him dead.
Lil Nas X, a master in the ancient art of trolling, jokingly told his followers on Instagram Live on Saturday he was concocting a surprise collaboration with his arch-nemesis Boosie Badazz, a 38-year-old rapper who has defended DaBaby’s homophobia as free speech and implied Lil Nas X’s performances are poison for children’s eyes. Boosie's response was, predictably, wildly homophobic and over the top.
Twitter quickly removed Boosie’s tweet for violating the site’s rules against promoting suicide or self-harm, and violence against others based on sexual orientation. In his typical calm disposition, Lil Nas X responded, “i am truly saddened. i have never been so mortified in my life. i can’t believe disney channel has yet to play halloween town this entire october.” While these constant attacks seem to roll off Lil Nas X’s shoulders, their stubborn persistence is worrying.
Lil Nas X proudly embraces his identity as a gay rapper and pop star. Yet, many in the hip-hop community prevent the burgeoning cultural icon from feeling acceptance in their world. He told XXL magazine in October he doesn’t “feel as respected in hip-hop or many music places in general.”
Boosie’s threats might seem too ridiculous to take seriously at first, but Lil Nas X knows the real-life violence which could be incited from such intransigent thinking.
“The honest truth is, I don’t want to speak on a lot of the homophobia within rap because I feel like this is a very dangerous playing field,” he told Variety in August. “It’s more for my own safety rather than anything else.”
It’s truly a miracle Lil Nas X still blesses the world with unapologetically inclusive and flamboyant music and public appearances, even after he had to hire security because someone chased his car days after he gave Satan a lapdance in the “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video. But happiness shouldn’t be a miracle, and he shouldn’t be out here fending for himself while making some of the most exciting, critically acclaimed music on the planet. Outside of “Industry Baby” collaborator Jack Harlow openly defending Lil Nas X’s choices in lifestyle and creativity, the hip-hop community at large has been suspiciously silent while the culture’s elder statesmen threaten violence on one of their own.
Lil Nas X won’t slow down, and he will surely keep making his haters mad with each platinum plaque and Grammy award he wins. Let’s just hope the same rappers who will eventually want to profit off his rising star come to his defense sooner rather than later and place themselves on the right side of history.