Everyone knows that gays do the most for Halloween. Every year, I religiously check Neil Patrick Harris’s Instagram to see what theme he and his husband have concocted for the family. (This year, it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Halloween is called “Gay Christmas” for a reason, and this year, Lil Nas X proved it.
NAS MARAJ !!!— nope ðŸ‘¶ðŸ¾ (@LilNasX) October 31, 2020
LOOK AT THAT! This tweet showed up on my timeline and I screamed. It may be one of the best costumes I’ve seen this year (maybe aside from Lizzo dressing up as a literal wet ass pussy and Mike Pence’s fly.) The attention to detail though: The outfit. The photoshoot. The padding. The breast plate!! I think successful Halloween costumes are more about the commitment than the actual outcome. Did you actually try? Did you plan for something big? To me, that’s what doing the most means, and Lil Nas X definitely did the most.
Last year, Lil Nas X dressed up as Killa Cam when he attended Beyoncé and Jay Z’s party. It was a good costume, but this year definitely blew it out of the water. I mean, if you’re not going to be able to go to a Carter Halloween party, you have to step it up another way right? (PS. Can we go back to a time when our biggest concern was what Beyoncé was going as for Halloween?)
I also love the version of Nicki that Lil Nas chose to imitate. This is 2011 Nicki Minaj, and one of the best things about Nicki is that she completely reinvents her look every few years, and there are so many iconic looks. Anaconda Nicki. Starships Nicki. Chun-Li Nicki. Nicki at the 2018 Met Gala. SO MUCH CHOICE. As a devout Barb (Nicki fan), Nas knows about all of these options. But 2011 was the year of Super Bass, released a few months after her iconic verse on “Monster” and her debut album, Pink Friday. I think Nas intentionally chose to harken back to a time when Nicki’s career was just taking off because he wanted to win favour with the Queen.
If you’re not caught up, shortly before Lil Nas X became a viral success, he ran a Nicki Minaj fan account under the name “Nas Maraj”. (That’s why the above photo is captioned “NAS MARAJ.”) Running that account was also probably where Lil Nas picked up his killer social media skills. But as his music career accelerated, Lil Nas X swiftly severed the connection and denied any association. I wrote about it last year when Lil Nas X first came out:
“Although prominent in its day, the account was deactivated (for violating Twitter’s spam rules), but fans who mentioned it were immediately blocked, and publications that wrote about the account retracted their statements after a representative from his team denied his involvement with it.”
It was a legit cover-up. But this past June, fans confronted Lil Nas about it. In a Twitter thread, he explained that he was afraid of being outed and being rejected by the rap and hip-hop industry. In response, Queen Nicki, in all her benevolence, forgave Lil Nas X, but not without revealing that she had felt a little stung at first.
It was a bit of a sting when you denied being a barb, but I understand. ðŸŽ€ Congratulations on building up your confidence to speak your truth. @LilNasX— BEAM ME UP SCOTTY MIXTAPE OUT NOWâ€¼ï¸ðŸŽ€ðŸ¦„â™¥ï¸ (@NICKIMINAJ) June 17, 2020
Nicki’s relationship with her Barbs is legendary, which is why it hurts a little extra when one of them turns on her. She’s generous, sure, but I don’t think she forgets very easily. So, as much as Lil Nas X’s costume is about Halloween, it’s really an offering to the Queen. An attempt to pay for his previous sins. And how do you atone for such a crime? By doing the exact opposite and displaying your Barb status for the rest of the world to see. Not only has Lil Nas X showcased his devotion to the Queen, he has unashamedly and unequivocally reclaimed Nas Maraj in the hopes that Nicki might welcome him back into the fold.
As of writing this article, Nicki hasn’t made a comment about it. But I’m 100% sure that she’s seen it. Do you think it was enough to get back into Mrs. Petty’s good books?