Lil Nas X & FKA Twigs controversy explained: 'Montero' and 'Cellophane' comparisons

1 April 2021, 15:24

Lil Nas X & FKA Twigs controversy explained
Lil Nas X & FKA Twigs controversy explained. Picture: Getty

The rapper received backlash for "copying" FKA Twigs music video visuals. Here's what happened.

Lil Nas X and FKA Twigs have been making headlines after they were embroiled in controversy over the rapper's music video 'Montero' was compared to English singer-songwriter FKA Twigs' 'Cellophane'.

Cardi B hits back after being drawn into Lil Nas X "Satanism" controversy

But what actually happened? What has Lil Nas X and FKA Twigs said about the controversy?

  1. What happened between Lil Nas X and FKA Twigs?

    Lil Nas X received backlash for allegedly "copying" FKA twigs visuals to her video 'Cellophane' music video, with his new music video to 'Montero'.

    When the 21-year-old rapper released the “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” on Friday (Mar 26) fans noticed something familiar in the music video visuals.

    In Lil Nas X's controversial music video, he's sporting a pair of thigh-high leather boots, showing him chained in an arena and most infamously, giving Satan a lap dance.

    While that satanic cameo gained a lot of backlash and was a man focus from the video, others accused Lil Nas X of copying FKA twigs’ ideas.

    In the video, Lil Nas X is seen pole-dancing descending from heaven into hell, which was similar scene in Twigs' "Cellophane".

    Fans have pointed out a few similarities between the videos in a side-by-side video. Watch above.

  2. What has Lil Nas X said about the controversy?

    On Tuesday (Mar 30) Lil Nas X took to Instagram to addressed the osting a clip from the “Cellophane” video along with a note of his appreciation for twigs.

    He wrote “the “cellophane” visual is a masterpiece,” he wrote. “i was not aware that the visual would serve as inspiration for those who worked on the effects of my video.” (Pole choreographer Kelly Yvonne worked with both artists on “Cellophane” and “Montero.”)

    “i want to say thank u to twigs for calling me and informing me about the similarities between the two videos, as i was not aware they were so close. was only excited for the video to come out,” he continued, before closing the caption with more praise and recognition for the singer.

    Lil Nas X addresses claims his 'Montero' video is similar to FKA Twigs 'Cellophane' video.
    Lil Nas X addresses claims his 'Montero' video is similar to FKA Twigs 'Cellophane' video. Picture: Instagram
  3. What has FKA Twigs said about the controversy?

    FKA Twigs responded to Lil Nas X's post, addressing the controversy on Instagram.

    On Wednesday (Mar 31) Twigs' posted a photo of Lil Nas X on Instagram and suggesting they had cared the air.

    “thank you @lilnasx for our gentle honest conversations and for acknowledging the inspiration cellophane gave you and your creative team in creating your iconic video!” she wrote.

    She continued “i think what you have done is amazing and i fully support your expression and bravery in pushing culture forward for the queer community. legend status.”

    FKA Twigs thanks Lil Nas X for his "honesty" about the similarity between their music videos.
    FKA Twigs thanks Lil Nas X for his "honesty" about the similarity between their music videos. Picture: Instagram

    Twigs also thanked Huang and Yvonne for their contributions to the video and encouraged fans to support the sex-worker dvocacy group SWARM.

    She added, “most importantly i would like to thank sex workers and strippers for providing the physical language to make both videos possible.”

    FKA Twigs gives shoutouts to people who heavily contributed to the music video for 'Cellophane'
    FKA Twigs gives shoutouts to people who heavily contributed to the music video for 'Cellophane'. Picture: Instagram
  4. What has the 'Cellophane' director said about Lil Nas X's 'Montero' video?

    The director of FKA Twigs' “Cellophane,” Andrew Thomas Huang, took to Twitter to raise his concerns about Lil Nas X's “Montero" video.

    On Saturday (Mar 27) Huang wrote “I’m a fan of @LilNasX. Sharing aesthetics and paying homage is part of the creative process. Collective consciousness exists."

    However, he did explain why very similar imagery to an artists original work is an issue.

    “Images are also expensive to make. Years of work went into the creation of ‘Cellophane,’ from physical training to the emotional labor of unpacking Twigs’ life to construct images [that] told her story of trauma and recovery."

    FKA Twigs 'Cellophane' music video director gives his thoughts on Lil Nas X 'Montero' video.
    FKA Twigs 'Cellophane' music video director gives his thoughts on Lil Nas X 'Montero' video. Picture: Twitter

    "‘Cellophane’ was a confession in the most vulnerable sense,” he said.“When an artist is in a position of power (amplified with the help of major record labels, social media, PR, etc) and repurposes someone’s labor and ideas to serve their brand image"

    Further added "they cause harm by displacing the efforts of the artists who did the original leg work".

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