“Fuck BET!” With those words, Lil Nas X unveiled his new single featuring NBA YoungBoy, “Late to da Party.”
The collab arrives amid Lil Nas X’s ongoing war of words with the network over his exclusion from being nominated at the 2022 BET Awards. Earlier this month, he accused BET of homophobia for the snub, though the network responded by placing the onus on BET’s unaffiliated Voting Academy for his lack of nominations.
Ahead of the release, the rapper teased the song with a Star Wars-themed visual, complete with an intergalactic text crawl taking aim at BET that read, “NBA YOUNGBOY is on house arrest, trapped on the isolated planet HATU. The Brutal Empire of Terror (BET) has betrayed LIL NAS X, turning their back on him after using him for clout. With the music industry in turmoil, the galaxy is looking for a hero. NAS must use the ancient power of VIDEO EDITING to free YB and defeat the evil BET before time runs out.” He also shared artwork for the song which depicts him urinating on a BET Award (an obvious nod to Kanye West’s own defiling of a Grammy).
As expected for Lil Nas X, “Late to da Party” is a pop rap banger, with “Fuck BET!” as an oft-shouted refrain. The track also finds the two MCs counting up their cheese. “Cheese all on my left, uh, cheese all on my side, yeah” they chant, before making some pointed remarks about the opinions of BET voters who don’t like their songs: “They don’t want it like that, they want me to die, yeah.”
The track’s accompanying music video was directed by Gibson Hazard. It has some lighthearted fun with videos that use green screen technology to make it look like two distant people are in the same room, cycling through stock backgrounds as Nas and YoungBoy pretend to interact. In the end, Nas drives his car through a billboard that says “BET Awards.” Check it out below.
This September, the Grammy winner will embark on his “Long Live Montero” tour, beginning with a show at the Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan before headlining Austin City Limits 2022. Grab tickets here.