Rapper Lil Nas X issued an Instagram apology on Monday in response to the criticism from the Christian community regarding his latest single, "J Christ."
Even before the song's release, Christian rappers denounced it as a mockery of Jesus Christ and religion. In response to the backlash, the rapper shared a video on Instagram, explaining and apologizing to those offended by his new song, released on Friday. The music video and its promotional content featured religious imagery, including a portrayal of the rapper as Jesus Christ on the cross, sparking immediate criticism from Christians who perceived it as "mocking" and "disrespecting" Christianity.
In an Instagram video, Lil Nas X acknowledged the gravity of the situation, stating, "I know I messed up really bad this time." He clarified that he did not intend to undermine values or disrespect Christianity, expressing regret for the mental toll the backlash had taken. Recognizing that religion is "a very sensitive topic for a lot of people," he admitted that he "didn't mean to mock; this wasn't like a f--- you to you people … it was literally me saying I'm back like Jesus."
In his apology, Lil Nas X explained that he believed people would grasp the underlying message of the song, a metaphor for his resurrected career. He specifically mentioned a scene in the music video where he fights Satan as evidence that he did not intend to offend Christians. "Also, with the [music] video, there is no disrespect there," he said. "I thought me clearly not being on the side of the devil in that video was the… I don't know… there was an understanding there that I am not trying to diss Christianity." As part of the song's promotion last week, he shared a TikTok video showing him consuming "juice and crackers" used in the Christian communion. The rapper also made jokes about releasing new gospel music independently and posted a fake acceptance letter from Christian college Liberty University for Biblical studies.
"I thought that video was gonna be the video to lighten the mood… I didn't understand the reality of what it is… but I do apologize for that, I will say I am sorry for that, that was overboard," he acknowledged.
The rapper clarified that his apology video wasn't an attempt to win everybody's favor but to clear his own head about the decisions he has made.
Christian rapper Bryson Gray denounced the images leading up to the song's release and urged other Christians to do the same. "My thoughts on this are that I believe Lil Nas X is potentially a reprobate as described in Romans 1," he told Fox News Digital. "I think that he is mocking Christianity. He is mocking Christ. That's why he uses Christian imagery to do it. He's doing it with the goal to mock us because that's how he gets his clicks. I don't care if he gets the clicks about Christians reacting. I want to see more Christians reacting." Lil Nas X has been associated with demonic imagery in the past. In 2021, he collaborated on Satan-themed sneakers featuring a pentagram and inverted cross that reportedly contained 60 CCs of red ink mixed with a drop of human blood in the sole of the shoe. Only 666 pairs were made available.
Additionally, in the music video for his 2021 song "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)," the rapper dressed provocatively while pole dancing and giving Satan a lap dance in Hell.
"I know, like, given my history… anything that I do related to religion can be seen as like mockery, that just was not the case with this," he said.
This article first appeared here.