Lil Nas X was this week’s musical guest on Saturday Night Live, where he treated the audience to a blistering performance of his hit song, “Montero.” He also either accidentally ripped his pants or staged a “wardrobe malfunction” in the hopes of provoking a moral panic like the one that greeted his last music video, in which he famously gave Satan a lap dance. Judge for yourself—Lil Nas X notices his pants are ripped around 2:23.
It’s only fitting that the song critic Chris Molanphy hailed as “the gayest No. 1 single in Billboard history” should make its SNL debut via the gayest performance in Saturday Night Live history. But what about those ripped pants? On Twitter, at least, Lil Nas X is maintaining kayfabe:
It does seem a little convenient that the man who so expertly riled up the right wing with stunts like his “Satan Shoes” managed to inadvertently echo one of the most famous right-wing freakouts of the twenty-first century. On the other hand, right-wingers looking for a reason to freak out already had plenty to work with, given that Lil Nas X’s whole performance is structured around a pole dance in hell. Plus, those pants did look pretty tight. If the Justin Timberlake / Janet Jackson scandal is any indication, though, we won’t really reckon with what happened on Saturday Night Live tonight until 14 years from now, when Lil Nas X’s pants perform at the Super Bowl halftime show.