Lil Nas X has been embroiled in controversy for the way he promoted his latest single, “J Christ.” The singer-songwriter has used Christian iconography by subverting significant symbols and adding his artistic touch. He reiterated the same formula this time but decided to clarify his message because of the renewed controversy surrounding his work.

“I wanted to… not necessarily apologize, but I wanted to explain, like, where my head at and where it’s been for like the last week,” he said in a video posted across social media.

“When I did the artwork, I knew there would be some upset people or whatnot, simply ’cause religion’s a very sensitive topic for a lot of people,” he added. “But I also didn’t mean to mock. This wasn’t like a ‘Fuck you to you people,’ ‘Fuck you to the Christians.’ It was not that; it was literally me saying I’m back like Jesus.”


wanted to get this off my chest

♬ original sound – lil nas x

Lil Nas X noted that he isn’t the first nor the last artist to use religious iconography. Madonna stirred similar controversy when she released the music video for her 1989 single, “Like A Prayer.” Years later, Lady Gaga was the target of criticism for her 2011 single, “Judas.” More recently, artists have kept on including and subverting religious symbols in their work. Rina Sawayama’s “This Hell” took aim at anti-LGBTQ+ religious groups by featuring demonic eyes and getting married as a throuple in the presence of a priest.

On his end, Lil Nas X explained his intention was not to mock religion in “J Christ” and the promotional rollout on social media.

“I know, given my history with the ‘Call Me By Your Name’ video, anything that I do related to religion can be seen as mockery. That just was not the case with this,” he said. “And I will say, though, with the Communion video, with me eating the crackers and juice, I thought that video was going to be the video to lighten the mood. To take it down, less serious or whatnot. I thought that was something that we all wanted to do as kids or whatnot, but I didn’t understand the idea of… the reality of what it is.”

“I do apologize for that; I will say I am sorry for that,” he added.

Lil Nas X also highlighted that Christians follow their faith in various ways and that his ultimate goal is to bring people together through music, not divide them.

“Though I don’t agree with all of Christianity’s rules or whatnot, I know not everybody follows Christianity by the book one hundred percent, or the world would be a lot crazier,” he said. “But I do apologize for that. This is not to try to get everyone on my good side or whatnot, this is more so to clear my own head about my own decisions. I know I messed up really bad this time, and I can act unbothered all I want, but it’s definitely taken a mental toll on me.”

“I was put on this Earth to, you know, bring people closer together and promote love,” the artist added. “That’s who I am; I’m not like some evil, demon guy trying to destroy everybody’s values and stuff. That’s not me.”