Lil Nas X paid Halloween tribute to a queer, rock’n’roll icon… then things got bloody

Lil Nas X, 24, marked Halloween by honoring the late, rock’n’roll pioneer Little Richard. The rapper posted a series of images to Instagram, recreating iconic shots of Little Richard from across his career. In an accompanying caption, he said, “Lil richard x… this man created rock and roll and doesn’t get enough credit for it. thank u for paving the way for me in many ways little richard. fly high 🕊 wooooo.”

Lil Nas X also posted a short video of himself, dressed as Richard, and recreating a famed TV appearance he made in 1972. Little Richard appeared on a BBC show to promote a show he was doing that year at Wembley Arena.

On his Instagram stories, Lil Nas X posted a video of himself recreating one of Little Richard’s iconic early performances of “Tutti Frutti”.

Lil Nas X as Little Richard

Little Richard was born Richard Wayne Penniman on December 5, 1932, in Macon, Georgia. He is regarded as a pivotal figure in the birth of rock’n’roll in the 1950s. He had sex with both men and women during his life, but his faith and societal homophobia made it almost impossible to talk openly about such things.

Little Richard embraced evangelical Christianity at several stages in his life and would renounce his queerness. At other times, he was quite open, telling Penthouse in 1995, “I’ve been gay all my life.”

He died in 2020, aged 87.

Controversial costume choice

Although many praised Lil Nas X for paying tribute to Little Richard, a second Halloween costume promoted a more mixed response.

Lil Nas X posted a further video out on the street in Los Angeles dressed as what appears to be a blood-soaked tampon. To eliminate doubt, a fabric vagina is also shown.

On Instagram, the post has had over 250,000 likes and many fans loved it. Singer Adam Lambert replied with a row of laughter emojis.

However, others expressed discomfort. One person wrote, “I enjoy this look but the fact that you personally have never experienced the stigma, shame or pain involved with having a period makes me pause and think……. But why though?” That comment has had over 800 likes and prompted a flurry of replies.

Another well-liked comment said, “I gotta say, I don’t think you’d want to BE a period if you could experience a period. Believe me, it ain’t no walk in the park! But living through it month after month, year after year, is often a horror show! Peace!”

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