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Lil Nas X Gets Crucified On The Cover Of Comeback Single ‘J Christ’

9 January 2024 | 11:04 am | Ellie Robinson

The rapper his dedicated his new track to “the man who had the greatest comeback of all time”.

Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X (Supplied)

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Lil Nas X has unveiled the title and cover art for his fast-impending comeback single, which is sure to be a hit with the Catholic community: the song itself is titled J Christ, and its cover shows the rapper (real name Montero Hill) being crucified.

Clearly inspired by the (highly mythologised) execution of Jesus of Nazareth in 1st-century Judaea, the artwork depicts Hill lying on a giant black cross, which is being propped up in a field by five people clad in modern designer clothing. Hill himself dons a flowing yellow loincloth, echoing the depiction of Jesus in Diego Velázquez’s iconic 1632 painting Christ Crucified.

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The cover was revealed on social media this morning (January 9) alongside a short visual teaser for J Christ, where an animated version of Hill – this time donning a crown of thorns and a painting-accurate loincloth, propped up on a solid gold crucifix – morphs into what can only be described as a Biblically Accurate Transformer.

A pre-save link for the single also confirmed what most of us believed to be true from the jump: Hill’s recent posts about ditching Sony Music because the label “doesn’t want [him] to make gospel music” were part of the rapper’s trolling, and J Christ will indeed be released on Sony. Hill also followed up on one of his tweets from earlier this week, where he teased that J Christ “features a very beloved popstar who [he’s] been a fan of for a long time” – joking that the song’s guest isn’t Kesha after all, but rather God himself.

Naturally, the cover art for J Christ has incensed the Christian community online, with a slew of posts on social media slamming hill for “mocking” their beliefs with his depiction of Jesus of Nazareth.

Hill addressed the controversy in a tweet posted just an hour after the cover itself was revealed, saying: “The crazy thing is nowhere in the picture is a mockery of Jesus. Jesus’ image is used throughout history in people’s art all over the world. I’m not making fun of shit. Y’all just gotta stop trying to gatekeep a religion that was here before any of us were even born. [Shut the fuck up].”

J Christ will be released this Friday (January 12). In earlier teases for the single, Hill vowed to “expose the industry” with its release.

Hill’s return to the spotlight comes after he made waves for responding to a homophobic “joke” made by Dave Chappelle in his latest Netflix special, The Dreamer. In one section of the hour-long feature, the formerly talented comedian quipped that Lil Nas X was “the gayest n**** that ever lived”.

Meanwhile, Hill toured Australia at the start of last year. In a glowing review for The Music, Thomas Hills wrote of his Sydney (Eora) show: “[Lil Nas X’s] live performance is transcendent because it doesn't rely on any one thing. Not his vocals, not his charisma, not his showmanship, not his dancers, not his visuals. Everything is interwoven so thoughtfully and choreographed so effectively that it lifted the collective spirit of all present.”