Why is Lil Nas mad at BET? Rapper opens up on strained relationship with network after nominations snub

Lil Nas has released a new single dissing BET. (Image via Jamie McCarthy / Getty)
Lil Nas has released a new single dissing BET. (Image via Jamie McCarthy / Getty)

American rapper and singer Lil Nas X, aka Montero Hill, has expressed frustration at the Black Entertainment Television or BET Network for not nominating him in any award category this year.

The artist did not receive any nominations in 2021 either. However, he performed his hit number Montero, Call Me By Your Name, in 2021 on BET, only after reassuring the organizers that he was not a satanist.

The artist has now opened up about his strained relationship with BET.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Lil Nas said:

“My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time. It didn’t start with this year’s nominations like most people might think. They did let me perform on their show last year, but only after [I gave] assurances that I was not a satanist or devil worshiper, and that my performance would be appropriate for their audience.”

BET was reportedly hesitant that year over Nas’ performance and took confirmation from him, stating that he was not a Satanist or devil worshiper


Lil Nas disses BET in viral video


Last week, Lil Nas X posted a video on Twitter of a snippet from his single Late To The Party, which opens with him repeating the phrase F*** BET. He followed by referencing his Top-10 charting singles last year:

“I put like three up in the Top Ten/And I don’t need nobody.”

The video for the new single, shared by the artist, describes BET as the Brutal Empire of Terror in the backdrop of a Star Wars font.

Before posting the video, the artist, in a series of deleted tweets, as seen by Billboard, wrote:

“Thank you bet awards. an outstanding zero nominations again… black excellence!"

In a separate post, he said he has two Grammys for his 2020 hit Old Town Road and expressed he did not receive even one nomination from his people.

“Black gay people have to fight to be seen in this world. Even when we make it to the top, mfs try to pretend we are invisible.”

A fan on his tweet replied, saying that he has already won Grammys highlighting that the artist has gained enough recognition, to which Lil Nas replied saying:

this is my point exactly how 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…
“this is my point exactly. how 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”

BET responds to Lil Nas’ comments dissing the awards

BET, in response, that the network has nothing to do with the award nominations and that a voting academy makes the nominations of an esteemed group of nearly 500 entertainment professionals.

BET, in a statement, said:

"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.

They said in their statement that it is unfortunate how the BET's Voting Academy did not nominate him this year. But this does not mean that BET is not committed to diversity.

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.'

Controversies around Lil Nas X

Lil Nas has had his share of controversies since he released Montero- Call Me by Your Name. In the song’s video, the artist can be seen pole dancing in hell and giving Satan a lap dance. He snaps Satan’s neck and steals his crown as ruler of the underworld.

To top it all, the artist released 666 pairs of Satan Shoes that year, the modified Nike Air Max 97s containing one drop of human blood. In collaboration with streetwear label MSCHF, the shoes retailed for $US1,1018 and sold out within a minute. A lawsuit was faced against Nike that was settled later that year.

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Edited by Suchitra
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