Lil Nas X Speaks on ‘Painful’ Relationship With BET

Fresh off dissing BET on his new single "Late to da Party," Lil Nas X gave a statement about his protracted "painful" relationship with the network.

Lil Nas X attends the 2022 Songwriters Hall of Fame
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Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImages

Lil Nas X attends the 2022 Songwriters Hall of Fame

Fresh off dissing BET on his new single “Late to da Party,” Lil Nas X gave a statement to Rolling Stone detailing his “painful” relationship with the network.

“My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time,” he stated. “It didn’t start with this year’s nominations like most people might think.”

Lil Nas X went on to claim BET was reluctant to book him at last year’s awards show, which featured a performance from the rapper/singer in which he kissed one of his backup dancers.

“They did let me perform on their show last year, but only after [I gave] assurances that I was not a satanist or devil worshiper, and that my performance would be appropriate for their audience,” X added.

A spokesperson for BET told Rolling Stone the “summation of events around Lil Nas X’s 2021 BET Awards performance is simply untrue.”

“Since last year’s performance, we have been in touch to work on other projects,” the rep said. “We are still excited about his previous performances and continue to wish him well. But today, we are focused on culture’s biggest night and delivering history-making moments for fans worldwide.”

Although Nas X didn’t attend the 2022 BET Awards, his “Industry Baby” collaborator Jack Harlow lent his support by wearing a Lil Nas X t-shirt on the red carpet of Sunday’s ceremony. 

Nas X’s statement to Rolling Stone arrives a month after he first teased his “Fuck BET” verse from “Late to da Party” on social media, telling his followers his feelings toward BET are not about getting snubbed for nominations.

“This not over no BET award,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is about the bigger problem of homophobia in the black community. Y’all can sit and pretend all u want but imma risk it all for us.”

After a user told Nas X he shouldn’t worry about the snub, as he’s already won a Grammy award, the artist replied, “This is my point exactly. How can i get acknowledged by the most acclaimed award show in the world and then not even [have] just one nomination from my own people? is that not crazy? am i really tripping?”

BET subsequently responded to Nas X’s criticism in a statement.

“We love Lil Nas X. He was nominated for a best new artist BET Award in 2020 and we proudly showcased his extraordinary talent and creativity on the show twice,” read BET’s statement from early June. “Unfortunately, this year, he was not nominated by BET’s Voting Academy, which is comprised of an esteemed group of nearly 500 entertainment professionals in the fields of music, television, film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influencers and creative arts.”

It continues, “No one from BET serves as a member of the Voting Academy. At BET, we are passionate advocates for the wonderful diversity that exists within our community. We are committed to using all of our platforms to provide visibility and inclusion for all of the many intersections of the Black community.”

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