FKA Twigs and Lil Nas X Had a Mature End to “Montero” Controversy

She praised him for "pushing culture forward."

Photo: C Flanigan/WireImage
Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage

True, there is a part of us all that lives for messy drama. But when two people can communicate honestly and openly, and come to a mutually respectful agreement? That is powerful and refreshing in today’s hyper-polarized culture. Such is the case of FKA twigs and Lil Nas X: the two talented artists have agreed to squash any ill will towards one another, coming off controversy following his new music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

In the “Montero” video, Lil Nas X journeys from Garden of Eden to Dante’s inferno by sliding down a stripper pole (truly, twigs is correct in calling it iconic) — but fans called him out for allegedly plagiarizing her music video for “Cellophane.”

It all started when one Twitter user created a side-by-side comparison of the two clips. Both begin with a winged creature descending from the heavens. In “Cellophane”, twigs descends into a strobe-lit abyss on a pole; there’s a sense of desperation in her dancing and facial expressions. “Montero,” by contrast, features Lil Nas X traveling down the pole seductively. Both scenes end with a crash landing: twigs on the ground, Nas at the gates of Satan’s castle.

“thank you @lilnasx for our gentle honest conversations,” FKA twigs began in an Instagram post. “and for acknowledging the inspiration cellophane gave you and your creative team in creating your iconic video!”

In her post, twigs wrote that she “fully [supports his] expression and bravery in pushing culture forward for the queer community,” indicating that she doesn’t view the situation from a place of controversy for its own sake. Obviously, their conversation was private, but it is clear that twigs is not participating in any accusations of impropriety on the part of Nas and his creative team.

Moreover, twigs also paid tribute to the true inspiration behind both videos: “sex workers and strippers,” she wrote, who “[provided] the physical language to make both videos possible.” She’s been vocal about supporting the community, particularly after coming out as a gentleman’s club worker in 2020. twigs encouraged her fans to support the Sex Workers Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM) hardship fund, a mutual aid fund created by and for UK-based workers.

For his part, Nas took to Instagram to heap praise on twigs and “Cellophane”’s director Andrew Thomas Huang. “[Th]he “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. [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.”

Maturity and good communication skills? We really love to see it. Read her note below.