The video captures the artist battling the devil in a basketball game and sailing in an ark through a global flood
Lil Nas X has returned after two years in between albums — surely the musical equivalent of 40 days in the desert — with his new song, “J. Christ.” The single released alongside a provocative video, marking the artist’s solo directorial debut.
The visual opens with a flock of people marching up the stairway to heaven, including a bunch of berated celebrity lookalikes with a bare minimum resemblance to Taylor Swift, Barack Obama, Oprah, Kanye West, and Ed Sheeran. The camera pans down to the depths of hell to find the artist stewing a cauldron of limbs before returning to heaven to catch a basketball game between Lil Nas X and the devil. The video ends with him sailing in an ark through a global flood.
Lil Nas X first started teasing “J. Christ” earlier this week, leaning heavily into Biblical/Christian imagery with his quintessential online troll twist. The single was announced with a photo of Lil Nas X splayed out on a cross, and a message proclaiming the song was “dedicated to the man who had the greatest comeback of all time!”
Additional promo included a TikTok of Lil Nas X gorging on communion wafers and wine, and a phony acceptance letter to the evangelical Christian college, Liberty University. There was also a short teaser video hinting at the opening visual.
“J. Christ” ostensibly marks the beginning of a new album cycle for Lil Nas X, who dropped his hit debut LP, Montero, in 2022. That album also leaned heavily into religious imagery, though with a lot more devil worship that proved particularly controversial. He gave the devil a lap dance (then broke his neck) in the music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and tried selling shoes containing drops of his blood; members of his team even told Rolling Stone that when Lil Nas X was booked to play the 2021 BET Awards, they had to confirm he wasn’t a “satanist or devil worshiper.”
Along with launching his new kinda-Christian era, Lil Nas X is also gearing up for the release of his new concert documentary, Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year and is scheduled to arrive on HBO and Max Jan. 27. The film follows Lil Nas X on his first big tour, offering a mix of performance footage and interviews in which the artist talks about things like his fast rise to fame and sexuality.