Things You Can Learn From Lil Nas X
I don't even know how to pronounce this guy's name correctly, but he's smart.
You have no doubt heard the song "Old Town Road" about a quadrillion times. After every cowboy, jock, housewife and Texas Tech basketball fan hooted and hollered about it, Lil Nas X confirmed that he was gay. I have to admit, it was pretty dang epic.
Now, Lil Nas X has a song called "Montego" and it has a controversial video and, to a lesser degree, controversial lyrics. Oh, and the song is a straight-up hit. I can't tell you if it's a radio hit, a club hit or a stream hit, but one listen and you'll go, 'man, this is going to be around for a bit.'
He released a video for this hit that slightly mirrors the lyrics. It's about him returning to the Garden of Eden and making out with a man-snake-devil (that's also Lil Nas X -- he plays all parts in the video). At the end of the video, he breaks the devil's neck and takes his place.
Lil Nas X then put 666 pairs of "Satan's Sneakers" up for sale for a little over $1,000 a pair, and they sold out in about one second (not an exaggeration, that's how quick they really went). These sneakers have satanic imagery and a drop of real blood in the ink (Miley Cyrus was among the folks to put on a pair).
Now that you're up to speed, let's get down to it. I've read Lil Nas X's statements on the song, the sneakers and the video, and there's a great lesson there for church folks. He basically says that his whole life he's been called a sinner and that he was going to hell, so he decided to embrace it. More simply, the church folk didn't want him in their club, and now they're angry he joined the other one.
As for the sneakers, what an unbelievably genius marketing scam. Instead of paying $1 million for marketing, he sold something controversial and got the marketing for free.
On the video: no one is forcing you to watch him glide down to hell on a stripper pole. It's not going to play during commercial breaks on your TV; you and your kids don't have to watch it if you don't want to.
This guy is just doing his thing. Just because you liked "Old Town Road" doesn't mean he has to make another song like that or stay within any of your preconceived notions of what he should be. Parents who are concerned about this don't have to let their kids watch it. At the same time, if you push people away, they may just decide to stay there.