Lil Nas X’s historical run at No. 1 on the Hot 100 was made even more historical when he came out as queer while “Old Town Road” continued to dominate the chart earlier this year. Naturally, the subject was raised during Nas’ appearance on the LeBron James talk show, The Shop last night, with Maverick Carter asking Nas why he came out when he did. Nas began to explain, but was interrupted by fellow guest Kevin Hart, who questioned why it should be a big deal. “He said he’s gay,” he replied, “So what?”
Nas tried to take the opportunity to elaborate, explaining, “It’s just like growing up… I’m growing up to hate this sh*t.” When Hart interrupted again, trying to undercut Nas’ point by questioning, “Hate what?” the “Panini” rapper subtly checked the gaslighting effort without acknowledging it, expanding on his earlier point. “Homosexuality,” he said. “Gay people. Come on now. If you’re really from the hood you should know it’s not something…. so it’s like for me, the cool dude with the song on top of everything, to say this any other time like I’m doing this for attention in my eyes. But if you’re doing this while you at the top you know it’s like for real and it shows that it doesn’t really matter.”
Hart was previously criticized online for past accusations of homophobia, prompting him to drop out of hosting the Oscars and issue an apology for his use of anti-gay rhetoric in his prior standup specials. Hart is recovering from back surgery after getting into an auto wreck over the weekend.
Lil Nas X is no stranger to controversy himself; earlier this year, he was also taken to task by the #LilNasXIsOverParty hashtag, which dredged up old, Islamophobic tweets from an old fan account he used to run. Like Hart, Nas also apologized, scrubbing the old tweets and acknowledging that he was wrong to make jokes at the expense of other marginalized groups.