As parents, many of us are prone to moments of musical hypocrisy. For example, I found myself aghast when I first heard Cardi B’s WAP… yet I’m also the same person who used to gleefully scream along with the chorus to Nine Inch Nails’ Closer: “I wanna f* you like an ANIMAL!”
(Let’s be honest; I still do. Only when I’m flying solo in my momivan sans kids. I made that mistake once, & thankfully my toddler son thought the song was about a duck being an animal.)
There’s a reason the slogan “sex, drugs, and rock & roll” exists; musical artists are almost expected to push the boundaries of decorum & decency. But some parents express indignation & outrage when an artist does exactly that.
Lil Nas X has clapped back at parents who complained about his explicit lyrics being inappropriate for children, pointing out that it’s the PARENTS’ job to worry about what their kids listen to, not his.
Lil Nas X is a singer best known for his smash hit Old Town Road. The catchy song was hugely popular with adults & kids alike.
(And I’m sure the chorus just popped into your head, & will likely stay with you all night. You’re welcome.)
But many parents whose kids love Old Town Road are stewing over Lil Nas’ latest single, Montero (Call Me By Your Name), which was released last Friday.
The song’s references to drugs & partying aren’t the only thing whipping folks into a tizzy- the video features Lil Nas X sliding his way down a stripper pole to hell & doing the dirty with the devil himself.
While Lil Nas appears to be having a devilishly good time (pun intended), parents of his younger fans are outraged by the explicit video.
Many have publicly called Nas to the carpet, claiming the single is inappropriate since Old Town Road is so beloved by children.
And Lil Nas X is not.having.it.
After Twitter user @MintChipMusic tweeted that the song is indicative of the “system that is targeting kids” (citing Miley Cyrus’ post-Hannah Montana transformation as another example), Lil Nas X fired back his own take on it:
there was no system involved. i made the decision to create the music video. i am an adult. i am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. that is your job. https://t.co/SzjjYe2tf4
— nope ? (@LilNasX) March 27, 2021
Now granted, the video clip that @MintChipMusic included in his tweet is one of Lil Nas X belting out -you guessed it- Old Town Road to an audience of very delighted children.
But… in Lil Nas X’s opinion, that’s on the parents that allowed their kids to get hooked on the song in the first place, since it too features lyrics that aren’t necessarily for tender young ears.
Yup, as Nas points out, Old Town Road has references to drugs & adultery:
i literally sing about lean & adultery in old town road. u decided to let your child listen. blame yourself. https://t.co/gYmTi49BqB
— nope ? (@LilNasX) March 29, 2021
…and if parents are cool with their kids soaking that up, well, that’s on them.
Lil Nas X’s stance on the matter is that as an adult & a creative artist, he can write about what he damn well pleases. And if parents don’t like it, it’s their responsibility to monitor what their kids can/can’t listen to, not his.
Despite the threatened backlash against his music, Lil Nas X isn’t letting it get to him. In fact, when basketball star Nick Young tweeted that his kids will no longer be listening to Old Town Road, Lil Nas was totally cool with it:
they shouldn’t be playing old town road anyway, we streaming call me by your name now ? https://t.co/jt6vr8KUbA
— nope ? (@LilNasX) March 28, 2021
Whether you agree with the parental outrage over Lil Nas X’s new single or not, it’s clear that the motto “sex, drugs, and rock & roll” is still as controversial as ever.