Lil Nas X addressed claims he was mocking Christianity with his new religion-themed single “J Christ” in a lengthy video the rapper uploaded to X on Monday morning.
Nas has been on the receiving end of criticism from spectators — including Christian artists like the Grammy-winning Gospel artist and rapper Lecrae — who disagreed with the promo and visuals for the single and its matching music video. Specifically, Nas found himself in a firestorm of negative comments after uploading a TikTok in which he eats communion bread and drinks wine from a chalice while dressed as Jesus.
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“I did not mean it as a cannibalism thing or whatever the freak. But I do apologize for that. I will say I’m sorry for that. That was overboard,” Nas said in Monday’s video, adding that he intended to “lighten the mood” with the TikTok and meant no harm with the video or single.
“I didn’t mean to mock. This wasn’t a ‘Fuck you to you people. Fuck you to the Christians.’ It was not that. It was ‘I’m back like Jesus,’” Nas said. “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.”
He started the four-minute clip with a preface: “This is not to try to get everybody on my good side or whatnot,” he said. “This is more so to clear my head about my own decisions. I know I messed up really bad this time. And I can act unbothered all I want but it’s definitely taking a mental toll on me.”
Though he claimed the video wasn’t necessarily an apology for the single, he did later apologize for the TikTok video and other aspects of the single’s promotional rollout. Though he knew the imagery for the single was going to strike up controversy — because “religion is a sensitive topic” — Nas said he did not expect or intend for that to offend so many people.
“I was put on this Earth to bring people closer together and promote love,” he said in the last few minutes of the clip. “That’s who I am. I’m not an evil demon guy trying to destroy someone’s values. That’s not me.”
The eye-popping video for “J Christ” moves through multiple Biblical-oriented scenes, finishing with Nas as Noah, building an ark and setting sail after the great flood, with the video ending on an end-of-part-one, to-be-continued note. He’s expected to release a new album — the follow-up to his debut LP “Montero” — soon.
Loaded with both LGBTQ and religious imagery, Nas is pushing buttons with “J Christ” in the same style and sensibilities as his earlier videos, notably “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and “That’s What I Want” but we’ll just have wait to see if these themes will carry into the entirety of Nas’ upcoming record.
Watch Lil Nas X’s explanation video below.
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