2021 has seen Lil Nas X push the envelope further and further, between his unambiguously homoerotic video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” to his performance of the song on “Saturday Night Live” (which was as memorable for his accidental pants-split as his interaction with his dancers). And on Sunday night, on the BET Awards, he pushed the envelope even further, ending his ancient-Egyptian-themed performance of “Montero” (paying tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time”) with a long soul kiss with one of his male dancers.
— Rap Alert (@rapalert3) June 28, 2021
— #BETAwards (@BETAwards) June 28, 2021
The immediate reaction on Twitter was largely positive — it didn’t hurt that the performance took place at the end of Pride weekend.
— BET (@BET) June 28, 2021
He got immediate support from Diddy:
Lil Nas X did that!! Be fearless!!! 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿
— LOVE (@Diddy) June 28, 2021
If you grew up Black and gay, you know how major this is.
I live for this kid.
— It’s Brandon, B*tch. (@beingbrandonlee) June 28, 2021
“On the last day of #pride 2021 @LilNasX got on the #BETAwards stage and kissed another guy. If you grew up Black and gay, you know how major this is. I live for this kid,” wrote one commenter on Twitter.
“I don’t wanna hear a damn thing about #LilNasX’s kiss if you haven’t called out the amount of ASS that Keeps bending over on my damn screen tonight #BetAwards,” wrote another.
— IG: CamSaidSo (@IAmCamero) June 28, 2021
“@LilNasX just gave @BET #BETAwards they first black gay kiss and baby I STAN. THAT is how you celebrate #Pride make the system EAT IT,” wrote a third.
— Kyng J III (@Kyng_SufIIIx) June 28, 2021
“@LilNasX really understood the assignment period #HappyPride #betawards2021.”
— kira (@thick_madamn_) June 28, 2021
— ☆$mileyyy☆ (@Lovin_da_crew) June 28, 2021
Nas has released three singles in the past seven months: the holiday-themed “Holiday,” “Montero” and the latest, “Sun Goes Down.” The first two featured elaborate, CGI-heavy videos, but the third is memorable for a different reason, showing a young Nas at his prom, where he is ostracized by his classmates until he meets his future self, who encourages him to be himself. The video ends happily. with Nas taking over the dancefloor.