Lil Nas X said he was ‘afraid of alienating’ his ‘straight fans’ before releasing the outrageous video for his single Montero (Call Me By Your Name), which features some very raunchy scenes with the devil himself.
The 22-year-old singer admitted he was a bit anxious to share the song and video, which has been both celebrated and condemned for its explicit references to gay sex and Satanic music video.
‘At first I was really afraid of alienating any of my straight fans,’ he told Entertainment Weekly for their Pride issue.
‘But then it was kind of like, if they feel offended, they were never really here for me. They were here for whatever version of myself they made up in their head.’
True to himself: Lil Nas X revealed he was worried his ‘straight fans’ would feel alienated by the explicit lyrics and raunchy video for his song Montero (Call Me By Your Name) in a new interview for Entertainment Weekly’s Pride issue
Montero was a breakthrough for the Old Town Road hitmaker, who came up with the melody after pushing through writing a song he wanted to ‘quit’ on.
And the song and video were instant hits, debuting at the top of Billboard Hot 100 for the week of April 10, 2021, with 21,000 downloads, 46.9 million streams, and 1.1 million radio airplay audience impressions.
Amplifying the hype, Lil Nas X also released 666 limited edition sneakers which featured satanic imagery and contained a drop of human blood. They sold out almost immediately.
But not all of the attention was good for the Georgia-born artist.
Montero (Call Me By Your Name) and the exclusive kicks also earned a hearty amount of controversy from those worried about the saucy video’s effect on youth.
Dancing with the devil: The video caused outrage for depicting the Old Town Road singer giving the Devil a lap dance in the pits of hell
Fancy feet: Amplifying the hype, Lil Nas X also released 666 limited edition sneakers which featured satanic imagery and contained a drop of human blood. They sold out almost immediately
South Dakota governor Kristi Noemi lashed out at Lil Nas, saying ‘This is outrageous, disgusting and perverted and on #PalmSunday no less.
‘Somehow @lilnasx thinks that Satanic worship should be mainstream and normal. I don’t think there have been better candidates to cancel than LilNasX and these shoes.’
After she continued to complain he responded saying: ‘ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!’
(The shoe was later at the center of a suit by Nike for using their unauthorized use of the classic Air Max ’97’s shoes. The dispute was settled out of court.)
Despite the backlash, the star said he’s been heartened by the amount of support he’s received from fans and the LGBTQ community.
‘Once you show the world more of yourself,’ he told EW. ‘They can relate more.’
Backlash: South Dakota governor Kristi Noem slammed the shoe and video as ‘outrageous, disgusting and perverted’
Bigger fish to fry! After she continued to complain he responded saying ‘ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!’
Live from New York! Lil Nas X is set to perform on SNL on May 22nd as The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy’s musical guest
And the star is starting to become more comfortable with creating a stir.
‘Looking back on history, the biggest icons, the biggest artists, are the ones who aren’t trying to always make everybody happy and who were doing themselves,’ he said. ‘I hope to do that at all times.’
The Panini singer is also hoping to inspire fans to be true to themselves with his music, telling the magazine: ‘I want to be a voice for those who pretend to be themselves, but aren’t quite there yet.’
Lil Nas X is set to perform on SNL on May 22nd as The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy’s musical guest.
Entertainment Weekly’s Pride issue, which also features a cover with Pose’s Mj Rodriguez, arrived on newsstands May 14th.
Dazzling: Entertainment Weekly’s Pride issue, which also features a cover with Pose’s Mj Rodriguez, arrived on newsstands May 14th