I can’t speak on the experience of being black in America, though I know racism still exists, but I can acknowledge that it must be difficult to be black AND gay. Over the years, I’ve heard several celebrities comment that they have to work twice as hard to be half as accepted as white cisgender celebrities. Singer and rapper Lil Nas X is highlighting this struggle in a series of since deleted Tweets.
Earlier this week, the list of 2022 BET Hip Hop Award nominees were announced by the media and the ‘Old Town Road’ singer was notice-ably absent from the entire ballot. The ENTIRE ballot.
To recap the last 14 months in Lil Nas X’s career, he released the critically acclaimed Montero album via Columbia Records in September – which debuted at #2 and is currently platinum. It was predated by the title track ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ and includes ‘Industry Baby’ featuring Jack Harlow. Both singles hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and are certified 4x platinum. It also includes the top 10 hit ‘That’s What I Want.’
While the Grammys have been notoriously more faithful to Nas X, with 11 nominations and 5 wins throughout his career – the BET Awards have not been so kind. Despite his landmark career and being one of the biggest artists of the last four years, BET has only given him 4 nominations and 2 wins. So, it’s really not surprising that he was missing from the 2022 ballot.
Again, with all respect to the black community, I’ve read that it’s still struggle for queer members of that group to be accepted by their friends and family due to cultural or religious reasons. It goes without saying that the promotional roll-out for Montero and its following singles were very, very gay themed and perhaps that was the deciding factor as to why Lil Nas X was basically blackballed from the BET Awards. It appears that the show is not ready to champion black, gay artists and Nas X not-so-subtly hinted at this in his deleted Tweets.
Peep some of the Tweets below.
It’s worth noting that BET Network was more favorable of Nas X during his 7 and ‘Old Town Road’ era… when he was still in the closet.
What do you think of this controversy?