The “Old Town Road” singer turned 24 years old on Sunday. For the occasion, he posted snapshots of a special photoshoot inspired by Playboy’s signature magazine cover. Lil Nas X is seen posing on a bed reading Playboy magazines – wearing the brand’s recognizable bunny ears and a pair of black stilettos. The top of the photographs includes the title, “batty boy,” written in all caps.
View this post on Instagram
“Hbd thee batty boy,” wrote Lil Nas X in the post’s caption.
In doing so, the rapper reappropriates a Jamaican expression often used to insult gay men. It also highlights homophobia that is very prevalent on the Caribbean island. In 2021, Forbes included Jamaica in its list of the most dangerous countries for members of the LGBTQ+ community. This echoes Jamaica’s law banning homosexuality and violence directed toward the community in recent years.
Lil Nas X seems to be very much aware that his music may be an outlet of expression for his gay fans, who are located across the globe. On Wednesday, his 2021 single “Sun Goes Down,” about his experience in the closet, reached number 1 on Saudi Arabia’s iTunes store.
“To my gays, fans from Saudi Arabia reading this, I hope this song is getting you through whatever you’re going through and I hope someday soon the laws against us change and you can be free in your own home,” he tweeted.
There is no stopping Lil Nas X from clapping back at homophobic comments. The singer recently answered Woah Vicky’s claims that he is faking being gay for popularity.
“Who gives af what Ja Rule thinks at a time like this,” he wrote.
Lil Nas X’s debut album Montero was nominated for Record of the Year at the 2022 Grammy Awards. Recently, the artist appeared in the trailer for the Disney + series, The Muppets Mayhem.