Lil Nas X's new music video "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" is still making waves on social media, but now the rapper has thrown a video game into the mix. On Wednesday, Lil Nas X released Twerk Hero, a free browser game similar to Guitar Hero or other rhythm games, but with twerking as the main mechanic. The effect is to amuse his fans while raising more controversy than ever among his critics.
Twerk Hero challenges users to control a gleefully immodest rendering of Lil Nas X himself, viewed from the back in the infamous outfit he wore at the end of his "Montero" music video. The rapper posted a promotional image for the game that has an official ESRB rating graphic, although it is not clear if the game was really officially rated that way. It was rated AO for "Adults Only." So far, users report that the game is difficult to get the hang of, in spite of its simple design.
"Montero" caused a stir upon its release late last month, not just for its explicit sexual imagery but for its overt biblical themes as well. The video follows versions of Lil Nas X through renditions of scenes from the Bible, including the eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and the confrontation with other angels in heaven. Finally, in the third act, Lil Nas X descends into hell itself wearing only briefs and thigh-high boots, riding down on an endless stripper pole.
In the final scene, Lil Nas X spares no detail while giving Satan a lap dance, to the dismay of many first-time viewers. The video ends with him snapping the Adversary's neck, taking his horns from his head like a crown, and placing them on his own head. In discussions with fans on Twitter since then, Lil Nas X has said that the video is meant to be a commentary on his own journey of accepting his homosexuality in spite of his religious upbringing.
Critics say it goes further than commentary, believing it actually advocates against Christianity and, in some ways, for Satanism. They also argue that Lil Nas X should not have released this video publicly since many of his followers are underage, having gotten interested in his music with the release of "Old Town Road" two years ago.
Lil Nas X has seemed to take joy in refuting all of this criticism and releasing things like Twerk Hero anyway. So far, the rapper's gall seems to have paid off. "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" remains atop the music charts at the time of this writing.