Lil Nas X has admitted he “messed up really bad” with the promotional materials for his new single ‘J Christ’, but insisted that he “didn’t mean to mock” Christianity.
The rapper/singer released the song last Friday (January 12) alongside a self-directed video that spoofs various biblical stories. In the clip, we see Lil Nas portray a godlike figure at the gates of Heaven and play a one-on-one basketball game against Satan.
- READ MORE: Lil Nas X live at Glastonbury: undoubtedly a watershed moment for queer pop
Additionally, the artist is depicted on a crucifix in one scene. The official ‘J Christ’ cover artwork also shows him on a cross as five bystanders begin to raise him off the ground. Lil Nas X recently denied making a “mockery of Christ” with the image after a backlash.
Following further controversy surrounding the visuals, Lil Nas shared a four-and-a-half-minute video message on social media yesterday (January 15). He captioned the post ‘wanted to get something off my chest’.
The star began by stating that he “wanted to not necessarily apologise” but rather “explain where my head [is] at” with the response to the ‘J Christ’ promo. “So first of all: when I did the artwork, I knew there would be some upset people or whatnot,” he said.
Lil Nas went on to acknowledge that “religion is a very sensitive topic for a lot of people”, but explained that he never meant to offend anyone.
“But I also didn’t mean to mock,” he said. “This wasn’t a ‘Fuck you to you people. Fuck you to the Christians’. It was not that. It was literally me saying, ‘I’m back like Jesus’. That was the whole thing.
“I’m not the first person to dress up as Jesus. I’m not the first rapper, I’m not the first artist, and I won’t be the last.”
wanted to get something off of my chest… pic.twitter.com/9d8abScSk8
— ✟ (@LilNasX) January 15, 2024
Later, Lil Nas apologised for a TikTok video in which he is seen eating communion bread and drinking wine from a chalice while dressed as Jesus. “I thought that video was gonna be the video to lighten the mood,” he said.
“I thought that was something we all wanted to do as kids and whatnot, but I didn’t understand the reality of how me eating the communion is the symbolism of Jesus’ blood and bones or something like that.”
He added: “I did not mean it as a cannibalism thing or whatever the freak. But I do apologise for that. I will say I’m sorry for that. That was overboard.”
Lil Nas then admitted that he’d “messed up really bad this time”, saying that the criticism had “taken a mental toll” on him.
“I do want my Christian fans to know that I am not against you,” he explained. “I was put on this Earth to bring people closer together and promote love. That’s who I am. I’m not like some evil demon guy trying to destroy everybody’s values and stuff like that. That’s not me.”
As for the ‘J Christ’ video specifically, Lil Nas told viewers that “there’s no disrespect there”. “I thought me clearly not being on the side of the Devil in that video was… there was an understanding there that I’m not trying to diss Christianity,” he said.
“I hope sooner or later we can move forward, and I’m excited for the rest of this era and [the] things I have planned.”
Lil Nas concluded: “That’s all I have to say for right now. I’m sending you guys love. I’m sending my fans love. I’m sending the people who I hurt love.” Watch the video message in full above.
Shortly before the release of ‘J Christ’, Lil Nas X announced that he would be going to university to join a Biblical Studies programme.
In the caption, he wrote: “I know some of yall hate me right now but i want yall to know im literally about to go to college for biblical studies in the fall. Not everything is a troll! Anyways IM A STUDENT AGAIN! LETS GOOO.”
He previously told fans that his new single was “dedicated to the man who had the greatest comeback of all time”.
The ‘J Christ’ visuals received a stamp of approval from the Church Of Satan over the weekend, with the organisation’s leader David Harris calling the clip and song “fantastic”.
It comes after the group also supported Lil Nas in 2021, when he faced controversy after promoting that he would be selling 666 pairs of limited edition “Satan Shoes” – each containing a drop of real human blood.
Meanwhile, a new Lil Nas X documentary called Long Live Montero is set to arrive next week. It’ll follow the musician on his live tour in support of his debut studio album, 2021’s ‘Montero’.