On Sunday, Lil Nas X’s BET Awards performance of his recent hit “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” set social media abuzz with its racy final shot, which evoked comparisons to Madonna’s similar act at the 2003 MTV VMAs from many sources — including Madonna herself. However, Madonna’s lighthearted reminder to fans about Nas’ inspiration wasn’t taken in the spirit in which it was intended by many fans, prompting Nas to put in his two cents on the situation.
In the wake of the awards show kerfuffle, Madonna chimed in on Instagram to post a side-by-side photo comparison of her three-way kiss with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and Nas’ make-out session with one of his backup dancers, including the tongue-in-cheek caption #diditfirst. Naturally, fans on social media came to Nas’ defense, trolling Madonna for what they saw as stepping on Nas’ moment.
However, Nas, replying to PopCrave’s post about Madonna’s seemingly petty reaction, subtly reminded fans that there’s often more going on behind-the-scenes than they know. “Me and Madonna are friends,” he wrote. “It’s just a joke.”
Madonna reacts to Lil Nas X's #BETAwards kiss:
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) June 30, 2021
me and madonna are friends. it’s just a joke.
— nope 🏹 (@LilNasX) June 30, 2021
Meanwhile, much like the song itself (as well as its accompanying music video), the kiss continues to be controversial on social media, with some seeing it as a watershed moment for queer representation in mainstream media and others contending that it represented society’s decaying morals. For his part, Nas has handled the attention with his usual panache, wittily trolling his critics and threatening to up the ante the next time around — time will tell whether that prediction will end up being a joke or not.