Lil Nas X faces controversy


Lil Nas X poses with “satan’s horns” at the end of his music video, “Montero: Call Me by Your Name”

Emma Cuddy, Staff Reporter

On March 21, 2021, 21-year-old rapper Lil Nas X released the song “Montero (Call me by your name).” Accompanied with the song was a controversial music video partially depicted in hell.
Within the music video, there were several themes of committing “sins,” which Lil Nas X proudly displays by spinning down a stripper pole into hell, seducing the devil, and stealing his horns.
The music video, named after Lil Nas X’s legal name, Montero, was inspired by a man Lil Nas X had fallen for. “Montero’s” purpose however was to motivate other members of the LGBTQ+ community to be themselves; according to a quote from Lil Nas X’s instagram, “Dear 14-year-old Montero, I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”
The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the music video received over 161 million views as of April 26; however, despite the support Lil Nas X received online, he has also received harsh backlash.
Lil Nas X responded to the negative comments and treatment with the post: “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s**t y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay. So i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.” [sic]
On March 26, Nas also released his limited edition “Satan shoes” embellished with a pentagram and ink
supposedly partially dyed with human blood. According to a statement by CNN, the brand Lil Nas X collaborated with to create the shoes, MSCHF, used the blood from collective artists to create the ink.
Along with the already dubious music video, the shoes were criticized for “honoring Satan’’ and were believed to be produced by famous sportswear brand Nike. Nike has repeatedly denied involvement in the shoes’ production and is now drawing a lawsuit against MSCHF for trademark infringement.
According to a complaint by Nike published by CNN, “MSCHF and its unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike. …In the short time since the announcement of the Satan Shoes, Nike has suffered significant harm to its goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism.”
CNN stated on March 29 that Lil Nas X’s representatives have not responded to emails and calls relating to the lawsuit, and Lil Nas X will not be named a party in court.