Lil Nas X Says His Show-Stopping BET Performance Was Like ‘Jumping In A Lake Full Of Sharks’
The rapper said he questioned himself prior to his show-stopping BET performance.
August 05, 2021 at 5:50 pm
Lil Nas X, who's been known to take his critics to task, recently shared that being a Black gay male in a hypermasculine music industry can be "really draining and straining."
During an exclusive interview with Out Magazine, the rapper, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, spoke candidly about the intersection of his sexuality and career just days after his headlining performance at the BET Awards.
During the performance of his song "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)," Lil Nas X ended his set by engaging in an intimate kiss with a male backup dancer. The kiss set off a whirlwind of backlash, but the rapper immediately fired back on Twitter, saying "imma just f**k the n***a on stage next time."
But Lil Nas X said despite his bold response, he questioned himself, asking "'Should I even do this? I don't feel like they're going to love me like that.'"
The rapper eventually pushed past his hesitations and reaffirmed himself that although people should seek out places where they're accepted, sometimes you have to "break down those walls and say 'This is my space now, too.'"
“The pressure of living your entire life knowing the identity of what a rapper is supposed to be, what rappers [are supposed to] do, and going out there in front of all these people, it’s terrifying. [The BET performance] was like jumping in a lake full of sharks and piranhas — and I’ve had to do that so many times within these last three years. Even coming out, that was terrifying. When I put on the costume of Nicki, terrifying,” he said.
His admittance may come as a shock to some of the 22-year-old's fans who often find him clapping back at critics who shame his sexuality.
As Blavity previously reported, back in March after the release of the video for "Montero," Lil Nas X said his reasoning for his artistic expression was quite simple.
"I made the decision to create the music video. I am an adult. I am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. That is your job," he wrote in reference to how "Old Town Road" was influential to children.
During the same month, Lil Nas X tore into Tekashi69 who shared a homophobic post. In his response, Lil Nas X reminded the rapper that he was previously in his DMs.
“Gonna be in your city soon, what ya doing lol?” the post from Tekashi69 stated.
He also recently tweeted "why y'all get mad at me so easily. all I've ever done was be a bad b****h."
The rapper has continued to face backlash since coming out as gay in 2019 but said he remembers growing up in Atlanta and seeing "a lot of microaggressions towards homosexuality."
“Little things like going into an IHOP and hearing one of your family members say, ‘Look at those faggots’ to two people eating or even just a small [statement like] ‘Boys don’t cry.’ Little shit like living in the hood, not being super into sports, and then having to go outside and pretend that I was,” he said.
He added that as a result, he pushed "that part of myself in more and more, almost convincing myself that it's not even actually there."
He said his performance at the BET Awards was just another opportunity to help young children growing up with similar experiences. He mentioned having to do his best after seeing a video of a young boy being bullied by his family members for doing "gay s**t."
"I was in rehearsals like, ‘Oh, my God. I have to do my absolute f**king best with this performance because of s**t like this.’”
The rapper added that although he's become the target for homophobic slurs and backlash, he finds his strength in knowing that bad times will pass.