- READ MORE: Lil Nas X – ‘Montero’ review: ‘Old Town Road’ prankster makes his case as a Serious Artist
Before releasing the song itself a few hours ago, X posted a preview – spoofing the iconic Star Wars title crawl – that outlined the concept of its accompanying music video.
The crawl read: “NBA YOUNGBOY is on house arrest, trapped on the isolated planet HATU. The Brutal Empire of Terror (BET) has betrayed LIL NAS X, turning their back on him after using him for clout.
“With the music industry in turmoil, the galaxy is looking for a hero. NAS must use the ancient power of VIDEO EDITING to free YB and defeat the evil BET before time runs out…”
Have a look at the Gibson Hazard-directed video for ‘Late To Da Party’, as well as its Star Wars-spoofing title card, below:
Lil Nas X started teasing ‘Late To The Party’ on June 8, positioning it as a diss track against Black Entertainment Television (BET) after he was not nominated for any of this year’s BET Awards. He’d previously taken aim at the organisation on Twitter, pointing out in a series of since-deleted Tweets that he received “an outstanding zero nominations again”.
“Black gay people have to fight to be seen in this world,” he tweeted later on. “Even when we make it to the top, mfs [sic] try to pretend we are invisible.”
Although X was nominated for Best New Artist in 2020, he received no nominations in either 2021 or 2022. His outburst parallels that of The Weeknd, who spoke out against the Grammys for receiving no nominations for his work – despite the huge success of ‘Blinding Lights’ and the ‘After Hours’ album.
BET later responded to X’s criticism, saying in a statement: “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.”
Despite the lack of BET Award nominations, Lil Nas X’s work is still being celebrated elsewhere. Last week, the multi-platinum artist was honoured at the 2022 Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony. There, he received the Hal David Starlight Award, which is awarded to “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs”.
Also in June, Lil Nas X shared a snippet for a song he said he would “never release”. More new music should be coming soon, though, as the rapper said in March that his new album is “close to finished”. Last week, he was spotted in the studio with Daft Punk‘s Thomas Bangalter.