Lil Nas X faces divided music industry after expressing openly gay identity


Photo by Fit for Health 2.0

Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes” (as seen above) that were released following his latest song, Montero, are receiving backlash due to Satanic, religious and sexual themes, despite the song hitting number one on Billboard.

Since his new song release, “Montero,” Lil Nas X has recieved an overwhelming and unjust amount of backlash due to him being one of few gay rappers. “Montero” just hit number one in the world on April 5 for Billboard, but this song is different from his two other number-one-hits since “Old Town Road” in 2019. This song has lap dancing on the devil, pole dancing to hell and a sexual twist to biblical stories with “Satan Shoes” to match. Although this may sound bad on paper, Lil Nas X is being criticized without acknowledgement of the barriers he has broken, which are symbolized in “Montero.”

Lil Nas X was told after “Old Town Road” hit number one that he was a one-hit-wonder at 19. He has since had four multi-platinum songs and continues to prove himself. Now, he is receiving more hate than ever for “Montero” due to its so-called “devil worshipping.”

In reality, Lil Nas X struggled through his teenage years as a Christian, having anti-LGBTQIA+ ideas incorporated into his upbringing. 

I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the sh*t y’all preached would happen to me because I was gay,” Lil Nas X tweeted in response to Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota taking a stance against Lil Nas X. “So I hope you are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”

Lil Nas X’s Satanic references throughout “Montero” are symbols of him embracing his gay identity, which was taught as Satanic when he was growing up.

The slant society has against this song is revealed through our hypocrisy. We praise songs by the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Elvis, Metallica, Grateful Dead, Van Halen and Johnny Cash about the devil; however, when a gay man writes a similar song, he is criticized.

In addition to his recent song release, Lil Nas X created shoes inspired by “Montero,” titled “Satan Shoes”. The majority of the shoes are black with red highlights, containing drops of human blood and references to a Biblical verse which references the Devil by having Luke 10:18 printed on the side of the shoes and likewise setting the price for the shoe at $1,018 price.

It is my hope that we can appreciate art regardless of one’s identity or our own in the future, and hold our reactions back until further investigation into an artist’s cause and purpose.

— Elle Vail '23


Regarding the Satan Shoes, Nike has recently taken steps to sue MSCHF, the company Lil Nas X partnered with in order to create the shoes. This is due to Nike being affiliated with the infamous shoes through a swoosh seen on the sides, which occurred similarly with Jesus Shoes released one year prior. 

“Over a year ago we released the Jesus Shoes […],” MSCHF stated on their official website where the now sold out shoes still have a web page. “Last week’s release of the Satan Shoes was no different […]  Heresy only exists according to doctrine: who is Nike to censor one but not the other?”

Through Nike taking legal action for the Satan Shoes and not the Jesus Shoes, Nike is granting privilege to the less controversial shoes. Had Lil Nas X chosen to not embrace his past through these Satanic references, he would not have had to deal with this lawsuit.

As a Christian, I am not offended by Lil Nas X’s “Montero,” as I understood his past prior to jumping to conclusions about his latest song; however, so many on the internet refused to acknowledge this and proceeded to use their own prejudices against Lil Nas X, additionally taking hits to the LGBTQIA+ community. It is my hope that we can appreciate art regardless of one’s identity or our own in the future, and hold our reactions back until further investigation into an artist’s cause and purpose.