Photo Credit: Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X apologizes for his controversial ‘J Christ’ promotion following backlash over a video featuring him strapped to a cross.
On Friday, January 12, Lil Nas X released his new single, “J Christ,” along with an accompanying video featuring religious imagery showing the singer strapped to a cross. Following a weekend of backlash, he took to social media on Monday to apologize for some aspects of his promotional tactics.
In the four and a half minute apology video, Lil Nas starts by saying he wants to “explain where my head is at,” and not to necessarily apologize for “J Christ,” although he later says that he’s sorry for some aspects of his promotion for the single.
“This is not to try to get everybody on my good side or whatnot. This is more to clear my head about my own decisions. I know I messed up really bad this time,” says the artist, whose real name is Montero, the namesake of his debut album. “And I can act unbothered all I want, but it’s definitely taking a mental toll on me.”
He explains that he knew the single’s artwork would inevitably lead to some backlash, because “religion is a sensitive topic,” but it was not his intention to mock or offend outright.
“I didn’t mean to mock. This wasn’t a ‘f—k you to you people, f—k you to the Christians.’ It was not that. It was ‘I’m back like Jesus,’” said Lil Nas. “I’m not the first person to dress up as Jesus. I’m not the first rapper, I’m not the first artist, and I won’t be the last.”
Lil Nas X also apologized for a TikTok video in which he was eating communion bread and drinking wine from a chalice while dressed as Jesus. He says he intended to “lighten the mood” with it, not intentionally provoke more controversy.
“I thought that was something we all wanted to do as kids and whatnot, but I didn’t understand the reality of how me eating the communion is the symbolism of Jesus’ blood and bones or something like that,” he continued. “I did not mean it as a cannibalism thing or whatever — but I do apologize for that. I will say I’m sorry for that. That was overboard.”
“I was put on this earth to bring people closer together and promote love. That’s who I am,” he said in closing the video. “I’m not an evil demon guy trying to destroy someone’s values. That’s not me.”
Needless to say, this isn’t the first religious controversy stemming from Lil Nas X’s work. He gave the devil a lap dance in the video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and later marketed shoes containing drops of his blood. For the latter incident, members of his team reportedly had to confirm he was not a “satanist or devil worshipper” before his performance at the 2021 BET Awards.