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Lil Nas X, please don’t let League of Legends fans sing the n-word

Lil Nas X, please don’t let League of Legends fans sing the n-word


Star Walkin’s lyrics present an interesting problem for Lil Nas X’s Worlds performance

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A photo of Lil Nas X in an all-black outfit, seated at a table in a room filled with gold accents.
Image: Riot Games

Lil Nas X has been the “president of League of Legends for barely more than 24 hours, and he is already cutting up. No longer content as the Lord of Hell, Lil Nas X has relinquished his fiery crown, exchanging it for a desk in the CEO suite of Riot Games. His first executive order? Making a nude skin of Udyr. His second executive order, well... it’s going to make half the population of League players very unhappy.

There’s also another LoL-flavored tweet from President X that I cannot link here because it will likely trip every not-safe-for-work filter built into this browser and laptop by my employers. But it is, as far as Lil Nas X tweets go, relatively tame. Kinda.

Naming Lil Nas X “president” of League of Legends is the latest video game-related stunt in the pop star’s career. The collaboration between him and Riot Games is essentially to promote League’s World Championship season that starts on September 29th in Mexico City. For several years now, Riot has partnered with musical artists to perform an original, made-for-LoL song culminating in a flashy performance during the opening ceremony of the grand finals. This year, it’s Lil Nas X’s turn.

In addition to thoroughly owning the League of Legends’ socials, Lil Nas X-ecutive will also perform “Star Walkin’,” the theme for this year’s League of Legends World Championship on November 4th. Roll the clip.

Yeah, that’s a catchy son— oh, oh no. Checks the lyrics No, no, no, no!

You should never take advice from a nigga that ain’t try /
They said I wouldn’t make it out alive /

Been that nigga since I came out my momma (Woo) /
Thankin’ God daddy never wore a condom (Woo) /

Listen, Riot Games knew exactly what it was gonna get when it approached Lil Nas X about this collaboration. The man has been unapologetically horny, irreverent, and vulgar on main since forever. The “Star Walkin’” lyrics by themselves, then, isn’t what should give Riot pause. But the idea of a stadium full of screaming League of Legends fans, a lot of whom will be non-Black, singing along the n-word (not the hard “R” version but nevertheless) is an unforeseen consequence of this partnership that will be both highly hilarious (to me, at least) and extremely cringe (also to me.)

There’s a very good chance the lyrics are radio edited into something less incendiary if uttered by the wrong people. Or Riot lets him rock with it, respecting President X’s artistic autonomy. When the song debuts on music streaming platforms on September 23rd, we’ll find out. I don’t know if I’m excited or afraid.