13 of the Most Controversial Music Videos Ever
From Kanye West to Madonna, these gory and graphic clips got people talking — for better or for worse.
Music videos are a perfect opportunity to expand the story of a song.
The best music videos can showcase killer choreography, Halloween-ready attire, or movie levels of cinematic gold; others can spark controversies, no matter how well-intended. Whether centered around copious bloodshed or near-pornographic nudity (sorry, Mom and Dad), there's one thing all controversial music videos have in common: They get people talking.
Here are 13 music videos released over the past 30-plus years that have sparked disputes. Watch at your own risk.
Lil Nas X, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)"
Two years after making history with "Old Town Road," Lil Nas X again made headlines with "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," an ode to queer love. While the song's title is a reference to the serene film adaptation that made Timotheé Chalamet a star, the "Montero" music video is decidedly darker, as Lil Nas X descends through the layers of hell on a giant stripper pole. Upon arrival, the rapper/singer celebrates his queer identity the best way he knows how: giving Satan himself a lap dance.
Naturally, conservative politicians, QAnon users, and Fox News correspondents weren't thrilled by the Satanic imagery and allusions to gay sex in the "Montero" clip. But — staying true to his origins as the founder of a popular Nicki Minaj fan account — Lil Nas X was able to smartly shut down accusations that he was brainwashing children and promoting Satanism. "There is a mass shooting every week that our government does nothing to stop," he wrote on Twitter. "Me sliding down a CGI pole isn't what's destroying society."
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