Kidz Bop Covered Lil Nas X’s 'Montero' & Censored Out All References To Queerness

Photo: DFree / Shutterstock / YouTube
Lil Nas X, Kidz Bop

Kidz Bop recently covered Lil Nas X’s hit single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” but removed all of the song’s mention of drugs, sex, and queerness.

The song had originally sparked controversy for the music video that had depictions of satanic imagery, as well as the songs heavy theme of gay pride.

Though there were many fans of the rapper who felt as if his song as well as the music video was an amazing reference to Black queerness.

Fans of the song have expressed their criticism of Kidz Bop taking out all of the references that make the song what it is.

Kidz Bop is a music brand that is mostly consumed by a younger audience as they cover hit pop songs, usually censoring mentions of adult themes as they are sung by children.

Kidz Bop's Lil Nas X cover is a censored version of a queer anthem.

The Kidz Bop cover of “Montero,” which was released on October 22 as part of their compilation album “Kidz Bop 2022,” changed many of the lyrics in the original song. 

RELATED: How Lil Nas X's 'Montero' Video Reclaims Religious Imagery For Black Queer People

In the original song, Lil Nas X sings: “I wanna sell what you’re buying/ I wanna feel on yo’ ass in Hawaii/ I want that jet lag from f**king and flying/ Shoot a child in your mouth while I’m riding.”

In the Kidz Bop cover, the lyrics were changed to: “I wanna sell what you’re buyin’/ I wanna lie on the beach in Hawaii/ I want that jet lag from livin’ and flyin’/ Put a smile on your face whilst we’re dinin’.”

Of course, it's fair that the cover removes some of the adult themes but why cover a song so focused on queerness if you're going to remove all that makes it great?

A TikTok user, @combat_ostrich, posted a video in which they noted that Kidz Bop had removed lyrics that make it apparent that the song was written and sung by a gay man.

Many other TikTok users posted similar videos analyzing the lyric changes, with many people in the comments expressing their opinion on the Kidz Bop version.

“They degayified it,” one user commented under @jameslestrange__’s TikTok video about the song.

Lil Nas X even tweeted the changed lyrics, seemingly finding comedic relief in the Kidz Bop cover, as well as saying the performers “killed it.”

RELATED: Kid Cudi Vows To Stand With Lil Nas X As He Pushes His 'Gay Agenda'

While some people found the song hilarious, there were some who felt that removing references to being gay made it seem as if being a part of the LGBTQ+ community was only an adult topic.

The entire point of Lil Nas X’s song is him coming to terms with his sexuality, and by Kidz Bop removing all of the references, it makes it seem as if topics like that are not appropriate for children to listen to.

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This isn’t the first time Kidz Bop has cut LGBTQ+ themes from songs.

In their cover of Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way,” Kidz Bop removed the lines “don’t be a drag, just be a queen,” and “no matter gay, straight, or bi / lesbian, transgendered life,” without using any substituions. 

The cover sung by Kidz Bop even prompted a petition to be made for the album to be pulled for “blatant gay censorship.”

“The censorship shown on Kidz Bop 20 is not acceptable and is a negative blow for LGBT+ kids,” the petition said. “Editing a song to make it ‘gay-free’ does nothing but reinforce that something is wrong with them being gay. It will make kids feel ashamed of who they are.”

RELATED: Lil Nas X Wrote A Letter To His 14-Year-Old Self To Inspire Queer Youth

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.