Lil Nas X publicly tweeted his anger with Black Entertainment Television (BET) last week when the network revealed that he received zero nominations for the 2022 BET Awards. The 23-year-old performer later deleted the posts, but it appears the “Industry Baby” singer has decided to revive the beef. And he’s only come back harder at the station with his new diss track, “Late To The Party.”
Late yesterday afternoon, Lil Nas X uploaded a 67-second clip of himself singing the song, and it already has 1.4 million views in less than 24 hours. The video begins with him shirtless, flipping the bird at the camera, and repeating the chant, “F*ck BET!” He then references his trio of No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 2019 with the following line: “I put like three up in the Top Ten/And I don’t need nobody.”
The BET Awards nominated Lil Nas X for the Best New Artist and Best New Hip Hop Artist awards two years ago, but he’s received no further nods from them since. (He did receive two nominations from the 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” though.) In one of his now-deleted tweets, Lil Nas X insinuated that homophobia is what held him back from getting his due this year. “Black gay people have to fight to be seen in this world,” he wrote. “Even when we make it to the top, mfs try to pretend we are invisible.”
Meanwhile, Lil Nas X received a pair of Grammys in 2020 for “Old Town Road (Remix)” as well as four Grammy nominations this year. So when one particular Twitterer noted this fact, the Montero rapper argued that it only bolstered his argument. “[T]his is my point exactly,” Lil Nas X replied. “[H]ow can i get acknowledged by the most acclaimed award show in the world and then not even just 1 nomination from my own people? is that not crazy? am i really tripping.”
Early this morning, a little bit after 1 a.m. ET, BET issued a statement in support of Lil Nas X’s artistry. However, the company also made sure to highlight that none of its employees played a role in his lack of nominations. The statement reads as follows:
“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: he performed “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus at “BET Awards” 2019 and his “BET Awards” 2021 performance was a highlight of our show. No one cheered louder that night than BET.
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. 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.”
Someone who certainly believes Lil Nas X was snubbed, however, is hip-hop icon and star of The Equalizer, Queen Latifah. The Newark, NJ native was in Hollywood promoting her upcoming movie with Adam Sandler, Hustle, when TMZ caught up with her and asked her opinion. “Lil Nas X is amazing,” Queen Latifah told the outlet. “He should’ve been nominated.”
The reporter also asked Queen Latifah if she found any irony in Lil Nas X learning he was shut out of the BET Awards during Gay Pride Month 2022. But she expertly didn’t take the bait.
“I don’t know if [his sexuality was] the case [for why he wasn’t],” Queen Latifah replied. “I don’t know what’s behind all that, but inclusion is always the key. That’s what we should be striving for. There’s enough room in this world for everybody.”