Lil Nas X and his steamy music-video fling with the devil still seem to live rent free in Dave Chappelle‘s head — that much is clear from the comedian’s latest Netflix special, “The Dreamer.”
The controversial comedian closed out 2023 with a nearly hour-long stand-up show that pondered dreams of his own and those of powerful men.
“The Dreamer” saw Chappelle, 50, ridicule Will Smith, praise Chris Rock and poke fun at the transgender community (again). As a grand finale, Chappelle delivered a dig about the 24-year-old Grammy winner, a dig that the musician ultimately brushed aside.
“I know a dreamer when I see one, and I’ve met many powerful dreamers in my life,” he said, “none more powerful than a man who calls himself Lil Nas X.”
Chappelle recalled meeting the “Industry Baby” singer (real name Montero Lamar Hill) at a party, not knowing who he was. He said the rapper (“dressed like C-3PO”) walked up to him and said that he‘d tried to cast the comedian in his music video.
“What video?” Chappelle said. “‘You know what video,’ and [he] walked away.”
The comedian said the interaction reminded him of grade-school teachers asking their students about their aspirations. After morbid asides about how dreams of becoming a firefighter or president of the United States went unfulfilled, Chappelle turned his sights back on Lil Nas X.
Speaking from his take on a young Lil Nas X, Chappelle used a racial slur and explicit sexual language in saying: “I want to be the gayest … that ever lived. I wanna do a music video and slide down a stripper pole all the way to the depths of hell … at 10 o’clock on BET while all the kids are awake and can see me.”
In 2020, Lil Nas X — who is openly gay — released the music video for his hit “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).” The infamous clip, which sees the singer dancing down a pole and offering Satan a lap-dance, generated backlash from politicians and conservative commentators and ignited a satanic panic. In June 2021, Lil Nas X took the hit to the BET Awards with a steamy Pharaoh-inspired performance that ended with him kissing a male background dancer.
“Shockingly, that was the only dream that worked out,” Chappelle added in his special.
The comedian’s dig at Lil Nas X circulated Saturday on X (formerly Twitter) and eventually made its way to the rapper’s feed on Wednesday. In response to Chappelle, Lil Nas X wrote: “yall gotta let call me by your name go.”
“Me and the devil broke up 3 years ago,” he added. “Y’all acting like children of divorce.”
Unlike Chappelle, Lil Nas X has more than moved on from “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and its controversy. In another Wednesday tweet, the Georgia-born rapper teased the next chapter in his music and criticized his haters.
“At some point yall gotta realize I am gods favorite,” he said, before plugging the Jan. 12 release date for his new music.