Lil Nas X, the chart-topping artist behind hits like "Old Town Road" and "Industry Baby," has made a triumphant return with his latest single, "J CHRIST." Released on Friday, the pop-rap track showcases Lil Nas X reveling in his own comeback, drawing parallels to the ultimate comeback story of Jesus Christ.
The singer took creative control of his return, not only writing and directing the official music video but also immersing himself in a range of roles from heaven to hell. The video, which features Lil Nas X on a basketball court, as a cheerleader, and even strapped to the cross, is a visually striking representation of the song's themes.
In the catchy chorus, Lil Nas X questions, "Is he up to somethin' only I-I know? Is he 'bout to hit 'em with the high-igh note? Is he 'bout to give 'em something vi-iral?" . This release marks Lil Nas X's first official single in over a year, following the League of Legends collaborative anthem "Star Walkin'" in September 2022. The artist orchestrated an extensive marketing campaign in the lead-up to the release, using social media to tease and engage with his audience.
However, the provocative use of religious iconography in the promotional material stirred controversy, with critics accusing Lil Nas X of disrespecting Christianity. In response, the artist defended his artistic choices, stating that the use of Jesus's image in art is a longstanding tradition and not meant to mock or disrespect any religion.
"J CHRIST" was co-written by Lil Nas X, Omer Fedi, Mike Levy (Gesaffelstein), and Blake Slatkin. The production credits include Fedi, Gesaffelstein, and Lil Nas X himself. The accompanying music video, shot in Mexico City and featuring intricate visual effects, marks Lil Nas X's solo directorial debut.
Despite the controversy surrounding its release, "J CHRIST" has already become a focal point of discussion, showcasing Lil Nas X's ability to push boundaries and create thought-provoking art that resonates with his audience.