Religious Ripples: Lil Nas X’s J Christ Sparks Controversial Debate in Pop Culture

Dropping the lead single from his upcoming album, Lil Nas X’s J Christ is making waves as it combines religious imagery with pop culture. The video invites major controversy, from celestial staircases to basketball games with the devil. Even popular streamers and the Church of Satan have participated in the debate of whether this is religious mockery or not.

Find out more about the controversy surrounding Lil Nas X’s J Christ music video below.

Lil Nas X’s J Christ Music Video Controversy

Lil Nas X’s J Christ dropped on January 12, 2024, as the lead single from his upcoming second album. The video starts with a quirky lineup of famous look-alikes eagerly waiting to climb a divine staircase. Among them are familiar faces like Barack Obama, Ed Sheeran, Dolly Parton, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, and Taylor Swift.

Lil Nas X's J Christ
Religious Ripples: Lil Nas X’s J Christ Sparks Controversial Debate in Pop Culture

The visual is loaded with references to the rap star’s previous controversial music video for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” where he took a daring slide into hell on a stripper pole. However, in Lil Nas X’s J Christ, he takes a different approach. This time, he presents himself as a saintly figure, weaving through various biblical scenes with a creative twist.

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He says hi to Michael Jackson in heaven, shoots hoops with the devil, gives sheep a haircut, struts his stuff at the Met Gala, and even finds himself tied to a cross.

Things take a biblical turn when a “global flood warning” pops up on the TV. Lil Nas steps into Noah’s shoes, rounding up animals and saving them on his ark. The video wraps up, the sun returns, and we see “Day Zero: A New Beginning” on the screen.

To add a spiritual touch, a line from the First Epistle to the Corinthians shows up: “So, if you’re with Christ, you’re like a whole new person. The old you is gone; here comes the new.”

Even before the single’s release, Lil Nas X defended using the religious scenes in his video. He wrote on Twitter, “The crazy thing is nowhere in the picture is a mockery of Jesus. Jesus’s image is used throughout history in people’s art all over the world. I’m not making fun of shit. You all just gotta stop trying to gatekeep a religion that was here before any of us were even born. STFU.”

Moreover, he clarified that he is not “trying to be like Gaga or Madonna,” as they have both used religious symbolism in their music.

“With all due respect, idgaf what they did, and I’m doing what I want with my career,” shared Lil Nas X.

Related: Nicki Minaj AI Controversy Erupts: Fans Extremely Upset by ‘Press Play’ Single’s AI Imagery

People’s Reaction

Popular streamer Kai Cenat recently shared his disapproval of Lil Nas X’s approach to promoting his latest single, “J Christ.” In a recent stream, Cenat accused the Grammy winner of disrespecting religious beliefs. The source of this criticism was Lil Nas X’s controversial cover art for “J Christ,” where he appears on a cross, sparking heated discussions on social media. Cenat did not hold back, expressing frustration and labeling Lil Nas X’s actions disrespectful to God and culture.

“God is going to handle you in the right way. I don’t even want to talk about that yet, bro. But, look—God is going to handle you, bro,” he said.

The release of Lil Nas X’s J Christ stirred concerns within religious communities. Also, it triggered reactions from Kendrick Lamar’s fanbase. Listeners quickly pointed out similarities between “J Christ” and Lamar’s hit “Humble,” especially in their beats and melodies. Some on social media accused Lil Nas X of lacking originality and using religion for attention. However, others appreciated the track’s creativity. The video added another layer with celebrity impersonators, though notably missing a Kendrick Lamar lookalike, sparking additional discussions.

The Church of Satan’s Support for Lil Nas X

David Harris, a spokesperson for the Church of Satan, told TMZ that the visuals in the clip were ‘fantastic.’ He applauded Lil Nas X for smartly using controversial images and messages to profit from his work.

TMZ mentioned that Harris holds a position as a magister in the Church of Satan, which is sort of like a top figure for its members. Harris drew a comparison between Lil Nas X’s marketing skills and his church’s teachings of ‘lesser magic,’ which is essentially the ability to guide people into doing what they want.

According to Harris, the Church of Satan does not worship Satan; instead, they encourage being true to yourself, achieving personal goals, and living life to the fullest. Interestingly, the Church of Satan is not bothered by devilish depictions in art; they do not mind it at all.

Harris expressed past support for Lil Nas X’s controversial 2021 video for his track “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” where Lil Nas X took on Satan and vividly snagged his crown.

 Related: Golden Globes 2024 Controversy Explained: The Issue Behind the Scenes

Haram Aslam
Haram Aslam
Haram Aslam is a medical student with a passion for binge-watching TV shows. From Gilmore Girls to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she will watch anything and everything with a little bit of romance, comedy and drama. Her love and passion for entertainment keeps her motivated to share her knowledge with others. Apart from Netflix-ing and chilling, she loves reading books and shopping.
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