About POP!

POP! is INQUIRER.net’s premier pop culture channel, delivering the latest news in the realm of pop culture, internet culture, social issues, and everything fun, weird, and wired. It is also home to POP! Sessions and POP! Hangout,
OG online entertainment programs in the
Philippines (streaming since 2015).

As the go-to destination for all things ‘in the now’, POP! features and curates the best relevant content for its young audience. It is also a strong advocate of fairness and truth in storytelling.

POP! is operated by INQUIRER.net’s award-winning native advertising team, BrandRoom.

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]


MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

Lil Nas X’s preview of upcoming single ‘J Christ’ sparks outrage for its Christian-themed concept

After the conversations nearly three years ago when he rode a stripper pole into the pits of hell and onto the Devil’s lap, Grammy Award-winning artist Lil Nas X is again the talk of the town in the release of his newest single.

The singer-rapper and songwriter posted on his social media account on Tuesday, January 9, his awaited return with his upcoming song “J Christ” to be released on January 12. Accompanying the announcement was the unveiling of a cover art that depicted another religious imagery with the artist being raised from the ground on a cross, similar to Jesus Christ who is a primary representation of Christianity.

“My new single is dedicated to the man who had the greatest comeback of all time,” he said in the caption his first lead single and music video for a few years.

It is known in the rollout of his acclaimed debut album Montero in 2021, his use of religion has already been subject to controversy as its satirical and homoerotic portrayal of hell has earned severe backlash from several people, especially conservatives and devout Christians. Lil Nas defended and explained this creative decision as he highlighted how it is partially inspired by the homophobic reactions when he came out as gay in 2019.

According to reports, one instance was during that year’s BET Awards where he was set to perform, some individuals part of his team were asked to confirm that he was not a “satanist or devil worshiper”. For the reason that he was selling “Satan Shoes” sneakers containing a drop of his blood in its sole from a popular brand as well as riding a stripper pole to hell in the “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video.

With this release, it is evident that he is continuing to create visuals coming from Christian iconography which earned different reactions and opinions from social media users. Numerous individuals have criticized the rapper for using the mentioned religion as a “profiting gains or promotional tool” and they pointed out that the artwork is already a form of “blasphemy”. Although many other famous stars have already utilized the same concept of depicting Christianity by providing commentary through their art, users pointed out that Lil Nas’ recent work is on the contrary, “disrespectful” as it has “no impact” and only an “aesthetic” leaning toward “rage-baiting” and “shock factor”.

“i’m not the most religious person by any means but i always wonder why out of all religions, Christianity gets played with/ disrespected the most,” a user said.

“he’s literally so corny….. no commentary, no meaning behind it… just doing it for the sake of publicity and press and people being mad so he can act unbothered…. hate people with artistry as shallow and nonexistent as this…. you’re a corny untalented SHAM,” wrote by a user expressing their sentiments with Lil Nas’s concept.


Despite this, there are also many fans who defended the artist’s choice with some reposted by the “Old Town Road” singer. They called out the detractors as “homophobic” and pointed out multiple straight artists who have heavily used religion in their music that the public “praised” and “were silent” but when a black gay man like Lil Nas goes for this idea, it is “mockery”. In addition, the users demanded to stop “gatekeeping” the religion and to wait for the actual release to judge as it was only a preview.

“The reason a lot of yall are not understanding J Christ and Lil Nas X’s new era in general is because you also blatantly misunderstood Montero (Call Me By Your Name) and its message. There is no mocking happening anywhere. It’s just art like so many other artists have done,” one user posted on X (formerly Twitter).

“Imagine telling Lil Nas X that he’s not allowed to use the iconography of the world’s largest religion, that shaped the western culture and informed ALL of the western art, to express himself, like ALL western artists have been doing for the past couple of millenia,” argued by another user.



In response to the backlash he is receiving, the singer wrote in his X account, “the crazy thing is nowhere in the picture is a mockery of jesus. Jesus’s image is used throughout history in people’s art all over the world. I’m not making fun of shit. yall just gotta stop trying to gatekeep a religion that was here before any of us were even born. stfu.”

“the problem is y’all judge everything at face value. i’ve never released a visual without an underlying meaning and y’all know that. but since i’m a troll y’all discount my art as just “pissing ppl off”,” he continued in another tweet.

Furthermore, the song “J Christ” is expected to be part of Lil Nas’s sophomore LP which is reported to be released this 2024.


Other POP! stories that you might like:

Ed Sheeran wins first-ever Emmy award for ‘Ted Lasso’ song

Ariana Grande unveils teaser of her new music, leaves fans gushing

Monét Ngo is ready to conquer the world with brand new single ‘Tarantula Queen’

EXO’s Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin have found a new home in Baekhyun’s newly established agency

The Filipino internet’s reaction to Hope Soberano’s Hollywood debut is kinda…weird?


Related Stories

Popping on POP!