Lil Nas X, Jeff Bezos, Katy Perry: The most surreal photo of 2019


Just days after Lil Nas X lost his record-setting perch atop the Billboard Hot 100, he seems to be on to a new pursuit: befriending one of the richest human beings on the planet. On Tuesday night, he was photographed with Jeff Bezos, the Amazon multi-billionaire, and Katy Perry, at Amazon's annual concert for employees.

The photos, which were posted to Instagram, included Lil Nas X's caption: "I am the now the new owner of Amazon and I stole Katy Perry’s dog." That's definitely not true, but it's fun to imagine. In reality, Bezos congratulated his employees on a successful Prime Day and rewarded their work with a performance from some of today's biggest pop stars.

"When I look out at this crowd, I am in awe of what you guys do — in awe of what you guys do. Not just on Prime Day, but every day," Bezos said to the crowd of Amazon employees, before Katy Perry and Lil Nas X's performances. "The curiosity, the passion, the hard work, everything that I see when I get to work with you guys, it’s just amazing to me and it’s awe-inspiring. So thank you very much."

Bezos doesn't mention the slew of Amazon warehouse employees who went on strike during Prime Day, calling for more humane working conditions, better wages, and an end to panopticon-like management of their every movement on the job. But he looked excited!

All of the photos are weird. Katy Perry's overly zealous pop energy isn't making the pictures less unsettling. The photos are only made more bizarre by everyone's outfits: Bezos is wearing a button-down tucked into jeans – giving real Dad at Whole Foods vibes. Katy Perry is wearing a neon pink and green zebra-striped dress, and her bleached blonde hair set in very stiff waves. She looks like she's from some John Hughes film about a prom night gone awry. And Lil Nas X? Well, he ditched the cowboy boots and hat and traded them in for a very 90s leather pant and jacket set, paired with a pair of glasses that serious rollerbladers might wear.

The photo that Jeff Bezos posted to Instagram was even more bizarre than Lil Nas X's. Bezos is wearing Lil Nas's coat, while Lil Nas's shoulders are hunched up, and he is shirtless. He looks cold. Or uncomfortable. The only reasonable-looking participant in any of the photos was Katy Perry's dog, Nugget, who seems as perplexed as the rest of us about this blending of celebrities. Nugget seems to be wondering: “Why is this happening?”

We’re wondering the same thing.