Lil Nas X Is 'Not Fazed, Only Here to Sin'—How He Pulled Off the SNL Performance Despite Wardrobe Malfunction

Lil Nas X during SNL performance on May 22, 2021.
Lil Nas X during SNL performance on May 22, 2021.
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live/YouTube

In “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” Lil Nas X rap-sings, “What a time, an incline, God was shinin’ on me.” Despite many folks missing the point of his much-discussed music video by accusing him of devil worshipping, there was certainly something divine in the air during his recent Saturday Night Live performance.


In case you missed it (or missed everyone talking about it on social media), Nas X performed his recent hit song, including as many free-expression vibes as you can imagine during a live network show. It was a powerful moment, especially for Black boys who can relate. At one point, though, Nas X’s super-tight pants ripped at the crotch and he had to quickly cover it up while he finished the performance. Yes, what happened is what we now know as a “wardrobe malfunction.” His “the show must go on” energy was apparent, however, as he covered it up before there was any threat of FCC consequences.

During his recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the 22-year-old artist broke it all the way down.

“At the end of the performance, the dancers are supposed to touch me and tug on me or whatever, and they were tugging on the pants, and I was like, ‘Please, God, no,’” Nas X recalled, noting that he even had to remain onstage before getting ready for his next performance (for “Sun Goes Down”) because he needed someone to bring him a towel to cover-up.

“I want everybody who thought it was a publicity stunt to see that,” Nas X added. “It was not. I would never rip my pants in public on purpose.” Fallon also showed a clip of the performance rehearsal footage, which highlighted what Nas X had planned to do before the pants-tear—show-off more of his pole dancing skills with a smooth open-leg spin.


That’s not even all, though. Nas X also revealed on the show that dancers had to be replaced at the last minute because one of them ended up testing positive for COVID-19. Due to the risks, his choreographer Sean Bankhead flew in a whole new team of dancers.

“At first I was afraid to even perform,” Nas X tweeted on Sunday. “Then we rehearsed for 2 weeks, then all of the dancers got removed because one had COVID and new ones had to learn the routine in 24 hours, and then I ended up ripping my pants and couldn’t finish. Everything happens for a reason tho lol.”


“He’s the king of the push-through,” Nas X’s performance coach KJ Rose told Page Six. “But I wanted to make sure he didn’t harp on the news, so while we were jogging through the studio—I was hyping him up with affirming and encouraging words. We left the news in the dressing room, where he’d heard it and he rehearsed by himself as if he had dancers. He did it all as if they were there.”


After all of that, Nas X handled it all in stride and with a good sense of humor (which is pretty on brand for him during times of public adversity). Nas X also teased his upcoming album titled Montero which will include songs about his personal journey in exploring his sexuality, heartbreak and more.

If you didn’t catch the full performance of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” on Saturday, you can now check it out below, via SNL’s YouTube page:

Lil Nas X: Montero (Call Me By Your Name) / Saturday Night Live (YouTube)

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



At least he didn’t go full Lenny Kravitz!

...never go full Lenny Kravtitz lol