Lil Nas X has said he did not mean to mock Christianity in a music video and TikTok clip which contain religious imagery.
The American singer, 24, who made it big with hit single Old Town Road featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, said he wanted his Christian fans to know “I am not against you”.
The video for his new single J Christ, released on Friday, shows the music artist wearing a white dress, golden halo, long nails, long hair and a choker spelling the word “sexy”.
In a clip posted to his social media accounts on Monday, he responded to backlash he has faced for his portrayal of Jesus and said “it’s definitely taken a mental toll on me”.
He said: “I wanted to, not necessarily apologise, but I wanted to explain where my head (is) at and where it’s been for the last week.
“So first of all, when I did the artwork, I knew there would be some upset people or whatnot.
“Simply because religion is a very sensitive topic for a lot of people.
“But I also didn’t mean to mock.
“This wasn’t like a ‘F*** you to you people. F*** you’ to the Christians’. It was not that.
“It was literally me saying ‘Oh I’m back.’
“‘I’m back like Jesus’, that was the whole thing.
“I’m not the first person to dress up as Jesus. I’m not the first rapper, I’m not the first artist and I won’t be the last.”
The singer also referred to The Montero (Call Me By Your Name) video, which received negative comments in 2021 over its portrayal of religion.
The music video featured the musician sliding down a pole into hell before giving the devil a lap dance.
He said: “Anything that I do related to religion can be seen as mockery.
“That just was not the case with this.”
Days before the J Christ music video was released, a clip was posted to the singer’s TikTok account which showed him mimicking the taking of communion by eating church wafers and drinking what looked to be wine.
He said: “I will say though, with the communion video… I thought that video was going to be the video to lighten the mood to take it down like less serious or whatnot.”
“I did not mean it as like a cannibalism thing or whatever the freak, but I do apologise for that.
“I will say I am sorry for that. That was overboard.
“I know I messed up really bad this time and I can act unbothered all I want, but it’s definitely taking a mental toll on me.”
He added: “I do want my Christian fans to know that I am not against you.
“I was put on this earth to bring people closer together and promote love… I’m not like some evil demon guy trying to destroy everybody’s values and stuff like that. That’s not me.
He added: “With the video, there’s no disrespect there…
“There was an understanding there that I’m not trying to diss Christianity.”
The track was released on January 12 and in the chorus Lil Nas X says he is “back like J Christ”.
The rapper’s debut album, Montero, was released in 2021.