Lil Nas X, center, kisses a dancer at the conclusion of his performance at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Ahead of the BET Awards, Lil Nas X describes in detail the ‘painful’ history with the network – Rolling Stone

Lil Nas XCriticism of BET after not receiving any nominations at this year’s BET prizes it probably overshadowed the awards themselves. He clearly expressed his disapproval of us, pointing out “the bigger problem of homophobia in the black community” earlier this monthuntil the release of the song “Late to Da Party” on Friday along with the refrain “Fuck BET” and the album cover containing urine soaked BET Award in the toilet.

The sudden break, however, was not the beginning of any clash between Lil Nas X and BET, but the last in an already shaky relationship of more than a year in the making. As they claim the rapper who won a Grammy and several members of his team Rolling stone, before getting the green light to perform at last year’s awards show – where Lil Nas X would hit the headlines after kissing one of his backing dancers during his performance – BET hesitated when booking NASA, seeking confirmation from his team that he was not “a Satanist or a worshiper of the devil,” the rapper claims. And after Nas finished performing, the kiss reportedly upset some online producers.

“My relationship with BET has been painful and tense for some time. It didn’t start with this year’s nominations like most people might think, ”says Lil Nas X. Rolling stone in a statement. “They allowed me to perform on their show last year, but only later [I gave] assurances that I am not a Satanist or a worshiper of the devil and that my performance will be appropriate to their audience. ”

In a statement to Rolling stone, a BET spokesman said that “the sum of the events surrounding the performance of the Lil Nas X 2021 BET Awards is simply untrue.” “Since last year’s performance, we have been in touch to work on other projects,” the representative added. “We are still excited about his previous performances and we wish him all the best. But today we are focused on the biggest night of culture and providing historical moments for fans around the world. ”

Nas’s statement represents the latest and most complex in his thorns in BET. After the network announced its nominees for Sunday’s awards ceremony, Nas posted several of the then-deleted tweets criticizing his lack of nominations despite releasing several hits from one of last year’s most acclaimed albums. “Thanks to the BET awards. Again an extraordinary zero nomination, ”he wrote on Twitter. “Black excellence!”

In another deleted tweet, he wrote, “I just feel like black gays have to fight to be seen in this world, and even when we make it to the top of the mfs, they try to pretend we’re invisible.”

To bet issued a statement after Nas’s critique, citing his nomination for Best New Artist in 2020 and defending this year’s nominations by noting that it is their voting body, not the network itself that selects the nominees. “BET’s Voting Academy … consists of a respected group of nearly 500 entertainment professionals in the fields of music, television, film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influential people and the creative arts,” the network announced. “No one from BET is a member of the Voting Academy.” The network added that “no one cheered louder that night than BET” during the 2021 rapper’s performance.

But talk to Rolling stone, Lil Nas X and his team refuted the latter claim. As one of the members of the rapper’s team who worked on the BET performance recalls, the problem with BET started in May 2021. We just finished the performance of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” on SNL in which he accidentally tore his pants in the middle of a song. The BET awards were soon approaching, and the ceremony seemed like the right place for another opportunity for the song.

By that point, Lil Nas X had been facing controversy from religious conservatives for months after that giving the devil lapdance in his video “Montero” and in partnership with MSCHF for release controversial “satanic shoes” imbued with drops of human blood which Nike eventually sued MSCHF over. (The verdict was decided in April 2021.) Our critics accused him of satanic worship, and as a team member says, the heat seemed to be enough to make BET inquire further.

“The response we got was,‘ We need to clarify a few things, ’” says a team member who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation. “Is he a Satanist? Will there be elements of devil or satan worship in the show? I was so taken aback by that. By then, we had been asking these questions to people after videos and shoes for months, and of course the answer was no and we obviously got the place. But that thrilled us.

“When Nas created‘ Montero ’, he knew what he was doing. He wanted to create a queer-pop anthem. He wanted to make a statement based on what he had heard from people probably all his life as a gay man, ”the source added. “That statement was very clear to me. But they all missed the message so much that all they saw was the devil. There was no thinking that he always listened to it and now he accepts it. “

The rapper’s performance “Montero” in 2021 immediately went viral and became one of the most impressive parts of last year’s show. Shortly afterwards, the rapper’s team said they expected a commendable response from the show’s organizers, but instead said the network was disappointed. “It wasn’t celebratory,” says the first member of the team. “The answer I got was that they felt used.”

“After [Nas] came out of the scene, one of the BET producers approached me and before I could even open my mouth, he looked at me and said, ‘That was really fucked up.’ ”- team member Lil Nas Xa.

Another team member, who also requested anonymity, recalled a BET producer who was involved in the rapper’s performance that approached them afterwards. “It simply came to our notice then [Nas] came out of the stage, one of the BET producers approached me and before I could even open my mouth, he looked at me and said, ‘That was really fucked up.’

“They say‘ no one cheered louder ’for me that night,” says Lil Nas X. Rolling stone“but the BET Awards team was actually very upset that I kissed my dancer on stage and expressed their dissatisfaction with several members of my team right after the performance.”

In a statement earlier this month regarding the controversy, the network said they are “passionate advocates of the wonderful diversity that exists in our community. We are committed to using all of our platforms to provide visibility and inclusion for all the many intersections of the black community. ”

But the rapper and his team disagree. “It’s almost like they didn’t mind the cute gay kind of‘ Old Town Road ’Lil Nas X, but this is too much,” says the first member of the team. “I think BET doubles what they did wrong. Instead of saying, ‘We made a mistake,’ they said, ‘Yes [the voting] communities and don’t fuck with him ’, which sucks. All the accolades, the achievements that Nas has had in his career, all the music that people have consumed, [voting] the community doesn’t fuck with him? What are you talking?”

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