Rapper Lil Nas X criticized the BET Awards for "homophobia in the Black community" after he failed to receive a single nomination ahead of this year's show.
The glaring omission happened despite the fact Lil Nas X's debut studio album, Montero, was a smash hit both criticially and commercially, having received nominations at this year's Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Music Video, respectively, while the song "Industry Baby" was nominated for Best Melodic Rap Performance.
Given the BET Awards aim to celebrate the Black community in music, acting, sports and other fields of entertainment, it seems odd Lil Nas X would be entirely shut out of the annual ceremony, and he made his frustrations known.
Writing on Twitter, the rapper said the lack of recognition was an indication of "the bigger problem of homophobia in the Black community," suggesting he would not stand for those who "sit and pretend" the problem does not exist.
Read his response here:
Lil Nas X later followed up with another tweet acknowledging two other LGBTQ+ artists, Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator, were recognized, but noted they were more likely to receive praise and be exempt from ridicule because they are more masculine-presenting.
He called on the Black community to acknowledge "queer men are more respected when they do less feminine things."
He later rebuffed criticism his music "sucks," pointing out one of his detractors had failed to answer the question he'd posed to the larger community.
Later, responding to a critic who suggested gay men like to make being gay "their whole personality," Lil Nas X posited gay men "should continue making being gay their whole personality" so long as they continue to be jailed and killed in other countries for the simple act of loving who they love.
The rapper's words resonated with the wider community.
Lil Nas X faced a lot of homophobic backlash since coming out in 2019, the year his country rap single "Old Town Road" dominated the popular music charts.
"Old Town Road" was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 at the time Lil Nas X came out as gay, becoming the only artist to do so while having a number-one record.