The rapper noted that sexual videos from heterosexual musicians aren't held to the same standards.
The singer dropped his prison-themed video on Friday, following a teaser that featured him playing himself, the lawyers, the sole juror and the judge that sentences him to five years in "Montero State Prison." The music video shows the outcome of that sentence, with Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow breaking out of prison in a Shawshank Redemption-esque escape.
Much like the reception to his "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" music video, the 22-year-old GRAMMY winner was immediately confronted with backlash about being too sexual and pushing an "agenda." The artist responded to several users on Twitter who claimed that Lil Nas X was using the video to "corrupt kids" or attack the masculinity of Black men.
"The truth is there is no attack. You view femininity as weakness. You don't like gay Black men because you are afraid of Black men, as a whole, being viewed as weak," he wrote to one user. "You cling on to your masculinity because without it you have nothing else going for yourself."
Another user claimed -- in a tweet that has since been deleted -- that Lil Nas X should follow the example of older queer artists who were "old school" and were seemingly less open about their sexuality. Noting that those artists were forced to hide their sexuality, the rapper wrote, "You seem to only respect gay artists when the gay part is tucked away. You don't like me because I embrace my sexuality instead of hiding it and never speaking on it for your comfort."
In a particularly poignant comment, Lil Nas X responded to a Twitter user who claimed that the rapper "isn't fighting for gay rights" but instead accused him of "marketing the sexual irresponsibility that's causing young men to die from AIDS."
"Being gay is one thing, but being a super spreader is another," the user wrote. "There's nothing healthy or helpful about that video. Especially for children."
"Y'all be silent as hell when ni**as dedicate their entire music catalogue to rapping about sleeping with multiple women," the artist fired back, defending the track and video. "But when I do anything remotely sexual I'm 'being sexually irresponsible' & 'causing more men to die from AIDS.' Y'all hate gay ppl and don't hide it."
Lil Nas X is right in that people rarely demand social responsibility from heterosexual artists who release overtly sexual music videos or singles. In fact, Harlow explicitly speaks about having sex with a woman in a relationship and sending her "back to her boyfriend with my handprint on her a** cheek," but no one is calling for him to lead the discussion on polyamory or safe BDSM practices.
Addressing homophobic comments about his proudly sexual performance -- which concluded with him passionately kissing one of his male backup dancers -- Lil Nas X didn't hold back when it came to defending his performance and his right to express himself.
"Y’all hate yourselves so much. Y’all live your lives trying your best to appease straight ppl," the artist wrote in response to a tweet -- which has since been deleted -- featuring a video of an older gay man slamming his shirtless appearance. "Y’all are uncomfortable with what i do because y’all are afraid they will be uncomfortable with you."
"Work on yourselves, i love who i am and whatever i decide to do. get there," he added.
There's no doubt it's exhausting for Lil Nas X to continually defend his right to express himself through his music and live his truth, but clearly he's well adept at handing these bigots their a**es when they deserve it! If anyone worries that these hateful comments will stop the rapper from speaking his truth, the "Industry Baby" video is more than enough proof that he has no problem turning lemons into lemonade. If that isn't enough, let the icon himself assure you:
For more on Lil Nas X, watch the video below.