Lil Nas X Perfects a New Image

Lil Nas X
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall of Fame

Lil Nas X had quite the evening on Thursday night when he attended the Songwriters Hall Of Fame Induction and Awards Gala in New York City. The singer debuted his new hairstyle at the event, a unique mop of yellow curls, which, paired with his look for the evening, turned him into a sort of cartoon character come to life on the red carpet, an effect that fits squarely with the image Lil Nas has been building for himself during his time in the spotlight.

The singer, who is known for his out-of-the-box style and rejection of traditional dressing, arrived at the event in a modern black suit, featuring a jacket zipped up his neck. A motif of silver arrows that started at the top of his chest and continued down his torso separated from the jacket into a sort of attached scarf hanging to his knees. Lil Nas then finished off the look with a pair of multi-inch platform boots.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The look in total immediately brings to mind cartoon characters with their hair perpetually in their eyes. Millennials may think of the Cartoon Network show, Codename: Kids Next Door from the early aughts, and the character Wallabee "Wally" Beetles aka Numbuh 4, who had a similar hairstyle to Lil Nas, albeit straight. And while this might seem like shade, it’s really not. The look is a lot of fun, and per usual, Lil Nas pulls it off in a way most others would not. The outfit, meanwhile, seems to take inspiration in anime, and this wouldn’t be the first time the singer referenced the cartoon genre in his clothing. At the 2021 Met Gala, Lil Nas showed up in a gold cape before stripping down to a suit of gold armor (and then a black gilded bodysuit after that). He later tweeted a series of photos, comparing the gold armor to that of the character Gilgamesh from the Fate series.

And while the look is fun, it’s actually a bit tame for Lil Nas, who has become known to show off his eccentric style and references to past rockstars through sequins, bright colors, and yes, gold armor. But this look shows his range. He can do edgier (yet still in a very campy way), only to then change into a baby pink prom-like tuxedo, which he did on Thursday night when accepting the Hal David Starlight Award for promising young songwriters. It’s not always going to be in your face glitz and glam with Lil Nas, but it will always be fun.