Lil Nas X isn’t responsible for what kids see, parents are

Gabby Felitto, Opinion editor

A week ago, Lil Nas X dropped the music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Names),” and many parents are getting their panties in a bunch.

The video depicts Lil Nas X as Eve in the garden of Eden, where he gets seduced by the serpent. It also shows him sliding down a pole into hell and giving Satan a lap dance before killing him. 

Many angry parents are saying that this change in image is inappropriate for Lil Nas X because his breakout single “Old Town Road” was popular with children.

Parents getting angry with musicians making explicit music and videos is nothing new. It happened with Cardi B’s song “W.A.P.” It happened with Miley Cyrus when “Can’t Be Tamed” and “We Can’t Stop” came out. It happened with Nine Inch Nails with their song “Closer.”

It’s about time parents realize they are the ones responsible for raising their children, not musicians. Parents need to stop forcing the responsibility of protecting children from explicit content on the artists. 

“I think the biggest problem for me is the fact he doesn’t understand “old town road” is every kid’s anthem. Children love him for that record. They tuned in and subscribed to his channels. So with no disclaimer he just dropped some left-field ish & all our kids seen it. Smh,” rapper and father Joyner Lucus stated in a recently deleted March 28 Tweet. 

“Old Town Road” is for sure not as kid-friendly as everyone thinks. 

The song includes lyrics such as, “Lean all in my bladder / Cheated on my baby / You can go and ask her / My life is a movie/ Bull riding and boobies.”

It’s like some parents don’t understand that they have the power to tell their kids what they can and can’t listen to. 

I literally sing about lean & adultery in old town road. u decided to let your child listen. blame yourself,” Lil Nas X stated in a March 28 Tweet.

Cardi B is a mother who understands that she has a responsibility to censor content she deems inappropriate for her child.

In a recent video of Cardi dancing to “W.A.P.,” she rushed to turn the song off once her two-year-old walked into the room, causing parents on Twitter to be angry, according to a Jan. 5 Glamour magazine article. 

“So ya daughter cant listen to it but everybody else’s daughter can? @iamcardib AW OKAY ! Exactly what I been saying you have an agenda to push with that trash ass label your with. DISGUSTING,” @Mo-fierce tweeted in response to the video. 

These parents are just angry that Cardi B, the singer of “W.A.P.,” is better at parenting than they are. 

If anything, artists like Lil Nas X and Cardi B are pretty good influences.

With the release of his new song, X posted a letter to his 14-year-old self in a Mar. 26 tweet. 

“I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” the letter stated.

While some parents are trashing Lil Nas X, there are some supporting his message. 

“This message of unapologetic self-love is even more important for Black kids. They get messages in every facet of their lives that they don’t belong…Lil Nas X is a bold testimony of a Black young man who is rejecting all of that by taking up space and breaking down doors,” said Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, mother and columnist for Romper magazine, according to a March 30th Romper article.

Lil Nas X is using “Montero” as a message for everyone else who has felt the way he has. He is using his platform to tell them that he has felt the same way, that they are not alone, that those in the LGBTQ+ community can be who they want to be with no restriction. The parents who are mad missed the whole point of the video. 

“….He is not confining sexuality to binary norms put forth by a society that attempts to fit people into heteronormative boxes. We urgently need more role models who can show that being different is beautiful and to be celebrated…” Bernard-Jacobs stated.

He has a positive message that will mean so much to so many, which makes him a good role model for children and adults alike. 

When looking at Cardi B, she is also a great role model. Her songs like “W.A.P.” and “Up” may be sexual, but she is showing young women that it’s OK to be sexual beings and to be sexy and raunchy if they want to be. 

“I want to show people that you can do positive things, but you can also be yourself. I’m a very sexual person…I love pussy, and I love my body, and I want to be able to express that…I’m not hurting nobody because I love my pussy and want to rap about it,” Cardi B said, according to a Dec. 3 2020 Harper’s Bazaar article.

Cardi B is showing people that they can be who they want to be. If they are sexual people, that’s great, and it shouldn’t be looked down upon. 

Just because a musician makes explicit content doesn’t mean they’re bad or immoral people that you need to boycott if you have kids.

These musicians are their own people who can do what they want, just like you. So, if you’re one of these parents hating on Lil Nas X, Cardi B, or any other musician you deem immoral, you can put parental controls on Spotify. These parents can also put parental controls on music channels that show these types of videos as well as on YouTube. 

Stop complaining about Lil Nas X going down a stripper pole or that your kid hears “W.A.P.” all the time. It’s not the end of the world.

Take responsibility for what your child sees and start using the parental control option.