Lil Nas X Blows Off Dave East’s Homophobic Comments About His Nicki Minaj Halloween Costume

Even though Lil Nas X had one of the biggest singles ever in the history of pop music and/or hip-hop on his introduction to the world, not everyone enjoyed the success of “Old Town Road” or Nas’ eventual embrace of his identity. Nas previously explained he kept both his sexual orientation and his love for Nicki Minaj under wraps because of latent homophobia in the rap world and over the weekend, almost like clockwork, older rappers leaped to prove his worry correct after he dressed up as his hero Nicki for Halloween.

Fortunately, Nas is incredibly good at social media and a master of the clap back, so he was able to reverse those comments on the grumpy old men who felt the need to interject their unasked opinions on his costume. Nas has had previous run-ins with Dave East, who made his thoughts known at the height of “Old Town Road”-mania. Referencing the initial backlash against him for grousing about Nas’ music, East posted a screenshot of Nas’ Nicki costume on Instagram, writing, “And y’all was mad at me about this n****.” On the next slide, he went a step further, with the truly bigoted message, “Bati mon, bun up!”

“Batty man” (or “batty boy”) is a derogatory slur for gay men in the Caribbean and Jamaica. The admonishment Dave East delivered is popular in reggae and dancehall, stemming from a religious belief that homosexuality is a sin and that gay men will “burn up.” It’s not just an idle threat; in the early 2000s The Guardian wrote about a rise in hate crimes in Jamaica — a trend that continues to this day.

Lil Nas X seemed unfazed, though, calling out the homophobia and needling East by correcting his patois spelling. “It’s ‘batty man,’” he tweeted over a screenshot of East’s posts. “N****s can’t even be homophobic the proper way smh butchering the hell out of the patois.” He followed up by pointing out how East was the one starting all the drama, as Lil Nas X “Don’t bother a soul in this industry. All I do is tweet and make bangers. Leave me alone damn.”

Nas also had to call out professional troll 50 Cent, who also posted photos of Nas’ costume, captioning them, “What the f*ck? Nikki, come get him!” Barring the fact that 50 also misspelled Nicki Minaj’s name, Nas wasn’t too happy about 50’s tweet, questioning, “Why u in Barb business?”

Lil Nas X’s acceptance in the mainstream meant huge strides for hip-hop but unfortunately, it looks like hip-hop still has a long way to go.