- Lil Nas X performed “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” at the BET Awards.
- The rapper paid homage to a Michael Jackson music video by using an ancient Egyptian theme.
- Lil Nas X ended his song by passionately kissing a male dancer, drawing homophobic criticism.
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The rapper performed his hit single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” with an Egyptian theme, dressed as a pharaoh, in a homage to Michael Jackson’s 1991 “Remember The Time” music video.
Lil Nas X was surrounded by topless male dancers throughout the performance and ended the song by kissing one of them as he held another to his chest.
While many fans loved the performance, and the kiss in particular, some criticized Lil Nas X for the steamy show.
One Twitter user wrote: “DONT USE AFRICAN CULTURE FOR S—S LIKE THIS!!!!!!! RESPECT OUR ANCESTORS.”
-Kudz (@ghettogod9) June 28, 2021
But Lil Nas X had the perfect response to the user, writing back: “y’all really like to pretend homosexuality didn’t exist in African culture.”
-nope ???? (@LilNasX) June 28, 2021
Other fans pointed out that homosexuality was actually very common in ancient Egypt. Some scholars think Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, ancient Egyptian royal servants, are history’s first recorded same-sex couple.
-???????????????????? ℝ. ℙ. ????️???? (they/them) #BLM #BTLM (@DavidRP91) June 28, 2021
Another user shared a link to an article listing “21 varieties of traditional African homosexuality,” writing: “Africa is a continent with hella cultures existing inside of it. Also learn your own history.”
-1-800-Sirnipsalot (@Ash_amoLH) June 28, 2021
Many on Twitter praised Lil Nas X for the performance, however, with the rapper Diddy giving him a personal shout-out: “Lil Nas X did that!! Be fearless!!!”
-LOVE (@Diddy) June 28, 2021
Earlier this year, Lil Nas X said he is no longer afraid of “alienating” straight fans, saying that if they’re offended by something he does or says, they were “never really here for” him in the first place.
You can watch the full performance here: