You know, Lil Nas X is one of those artists that is beyond his time. When he first arrived on the scene, rocking his pink little cowboy hat, and kicking it with Billy Ray Cyrus, we never knew he would kick up as much dust as he has in the name of just being yourself, no matter how unpopular. He pushes the bar further than the average comfort level, and he doesn't allow anyone to bully him or force him back into being ashamed of who he is: a young, Black, queer, man.
And honestly, he has always oozed of true Black boy joy, (which many of you aren't ready for that conversation, but we're going to have it anyway).
It all started when the rapper responded to a video from Boosie's latest appearance on The Breakfast Club. Boosie came out in defense of DaBaby after his controversial remarks at Rolling Loud in Miami. Boosie told his followers:
"Lil Nas X said he wanna perform naked on stage for charity. You don't f– with him like you f– with DaBaby. Be even-sided. You don't feel that's disrespect? Going dance naked. You don't think that's disrespect in front of boys who tryna be straight? It's totally disrespect."
Charlamagne tha God challenged Boosie, asking him directly what he meant by "people tryin' to be straight," to which Boosie asked, "If you got your kids watching TV, if you're trying to raise strong young Black men, would you be cool with your kids watching it?"
Charlamagne spoke up with the obvious that most rappers always seem to forget, that rap culture has historically had violent and "worse" images and lyrics for literally decades, and the rest goes down in uninformed and fragile masculinity history, as Boosie closes by saying that he needs to "speak up for straight people in the world."
Lil Nas X caught wind of the conversation and responded beautifully, simply saying:
And from here I was just so internally grateful to see him respond this way. I mean, he always have clever, perfectly timed responses, but this one felt more genuine; more in line on a spiritual level.
It reminded me of the time he celebrated a win with his dad, who accepts him as is:
Or when he showed himself a little love:
When he introduced his debut album with a beautiful caption:
All while hoping his haters saw it:
When he happily danced around with a couple friends:
When he was well aware of the power of his words:
When Auntie Oprah made him smile ear-to-ear:
When he called out double standards (again and again and again):
And finally, when he shared some encouraging words to his followers:
Lil Nas X represents many things in entertainment, and you can say a multitude of things about his approach in getting his message across. But one thing you can never say, is that he doesn't show up as his full self, while also never letting any of the ridicule dim his light.
And the last time I checked, that's what we call #blackboyjoy.
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Featured image by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for iHeartMedia