Lil Nas X was gearing up for a provocative performance on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, singing his sexed-up anthem “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” — but he ended up being way more provocative than he’d planned when his pants split as he grinded on a stripper pole and he had to finish the song holding his crotch. All things considered, it was a remarkably smooth recovery from a thankless situation — and Nas not only finished the performance without missing a beat (although, as you’ll see below, he did have to skip one move), he also didn’t try to pretend it hadn’t happened: The expressions on his face immediately after the split are the best part of an already remarkable act.
Nas, wearing a white jacket with a tartan kilt (in a funny visual commentary on the pants-split), explained the incident — complete with a previously unaired rehearsal tape of the way the performance was supposed to go — to Jimmy Fallon and this week’s co-host Dave Grohl on “The Tonight Show” on Monday.
“I was pretty much going down on the pole, doing my little sexy drop-down, and boom! I feel air,” he recalled with a smile. “I was like, ‘There’s definitely a breeze going on.’ And I also felt some popping still happening while I was down there. So, I was like, ‘Oh God… Just please, [not on] TV — and ‘SNL’ is actually live.
“You know what the worst part is?,” he continued. “At the end of the performance, the dancers are supposed to touch me and tug on me and whatever, and they were tugging on the pants! I was like, ‘Please, God. No!’ And I couldn’t say it because we were in the performance.”
He laughed along with the hosts and audience as the clip was aired and they talked about his smooth recovery. Asked how he exited the stage, Nas said, “You know what’s hilarious? Everybody’s leaving the stage and a lot of the ‘SNL’ people didn’t know [his pants had split], and they were like, ‘Come on, Nas, we gotta get ready for the next performance,’ and I was like, ‘I literally cannot leave! Everybody here would see everything! Please bring me a towel.’”
He also noted that the team of dancers he’d rehearsed with suddenly couldn’t join him because one of them tested positive for Covid — resulting in their and the choreographer’s immediate quarantine. All of his dancers on the show had had 24 hours to rehearse. “Shout out to them because they did a great job,” he said.
After the rehearsal footage — which shows Nas doing an upside-down spin on the stripper pole — was aired, Grohl shouted, “Now I can see why you didn’t finish!,” gesturing to show just how much exposure Nas would have gotten.
“Big Nas X!” Fallon laughed.
The spot ends with Nas talking about his debut full-length album, “Montero,” due this summer. “Oh my God, my entire life has led up to this moment,” he said. “This album: it’s honest, it’s 100% me — because last time I played so many different characters — I’m exploring my sexuality, myself, it’s like a come-of-age story… my heartbreaks — there’s been a lot of those in the last year,” he said without explaining, while Fallon and Grohl nodded in almost comic seriousness. “It’s everything, man, and it’s something everybody can vibe along to.”
Responding to comments from fans on Twitter about his kilt, Nas tweeted: “Stop asking me why i’m wearing a skirt, i will never trust pants again!”
stop asking me why i’m wearing a skirt, i will never trust pants again! https://t.co/Ut5hglsvdz
— nope 🏹 (@LilNasX) May 25, 2021