Lil Nas X Explains How His BET Awards Performance Was ‘Like Jumping In A Lake Of Sharks And Piranhas’

Lil Nas X’s performance at the BET Awards was one of the year’s most notable music moments, mainly because of his on-stage kiss with one of his male dancers. In a new interview with Out, he spoke about the moment, admitting that he was hesitant about doing it at first.

He said:

“Going to this place with all these overly masculine rappers and you’re finna be in there throwing a little ass every now and then, touching on dudes and hugging them and kissing them… at some points I was like, ‘Should I even do this? I don’t feel like they’re going to love me like that.’ […]

Mentally, it’s really draining and straining sometimes; The pressure of living your entire life knowing the identity of what a rapper is supposed to be, what rappers [are supposed to] do, and going out there in front of all these people, it’s terrifying. [The BET performance] was like jumping in a lake full of sharks and piranhas — and I’ve had to do that so many times within these last three years. Even coming out, that was terrifying. When I put on the costume of Nicki [Minaj, for Halloween]: terrifying.”

He also spoke about his experience with homosexuality as a kid, saying, “Growing up in the Atlanta area, I [saw] a lot of microaggressions towards homosexuality. Little things like going into an IHOP and hearing one of your family members say, ‘Look at those f****ts’ to two people eating, or even just a small [statement like], ‘Boys don’t cry.’ Little sh*t like living in the hood, not being super into sports, and then having to go outside and pretend that I was.”

Read the full feature here.