Lil Nas X once again trolled his way into the headlines. His performance at the 2021 BET Awards ended with the openly gay Georgia native kissing his male backup dancer. That liplock led to condemnation from many viewers.
The Source magazine co-founder Benzino was one of the most outspoken critics of Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” set on Sunday night. Benzino took to Instagram to voice his frustrations.
“That s### BET pulled yesterday was lame [as f###]. It was too uncomfortable, too irresponsible, too forced, and too irrelevant to the awards. Homie ain’t even hot like that for music anymore anyway. It’s a shame what all this is [coming to]. I wish I had the backing to bring the Source Awards back,” posted Benzino on IG.
Benzino then faced backlash for what some people saw as homophobic comments. He went on BNC’s Black News Tonight with Marc Lamont Hill to have a conversation about his criticism of BET and Lil Nas X.
At one point, Benzino apologized for wrongly suggesting that Lil Nas X was no longer a successful music artist. Benzino acknowledged that “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” is currently charting in the Top 10 of Billboard‘s Hot 100 rankings.
The BNC interview also included Benzino arguing that the BET Awards are supposed to be a family-based show and Lil Nas X kissing a man was inappropriate for that audience. However, Marc Lamont Hill pointed out that Benzino disapproved of Lil Nas X’s kiss but he did not object to the heterosexual musicians alluding to sex, drug use, and violence at the same ceremony.
Benzino responded by saying his omission of criticizing other moments from the BET Awards does not “taint” his opinion on the Lil Nas X controversy. While Benzino insisted he is not homophobic and does not want to censor artists, the 55-year-old reality show star offered an additional take on LNX and the LGBT community.
“I just feel like sometimes things can be forced, and they don’t have to be. I think Lil Nas X was trying to show he’s gay and gay’s here, but we already knew that. You don’t have to push the envelope so much. Gay people are here. The movement’s here,” said Benzino.
The former Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta cast member added, “I think the LGBT community – a lot of them are great people – but then you got some who just want to bully their lifestyle on people. I don’t think that’s fair. I think in this instance I’ve seen LGBT [people] speak and actually agree with what I’m saying.”