Rapper Lil Nas X has apologised to his Christian fans after the video for his new single "J Christ" sparked controversy over his portrayal of Christianity.
The video cited 2 Corinthians 5:17 and depicted the openly gay rapper on a cross. Some of the scenes also appropriated biblical imagery including Jacob's Ladder and Noah's Flood.
In social media promos for the track, he depicted himself as Jesus and mocked communion and the Lord's Supper.
In another social media stunt, he tweeted a picture suggesting he had been accepted to Liberty University for a biblical studies - which the evangelical educational institution swiftly denied.
He was accused of "mocking Christianity" and criticised by a host of Christian artists, including Dee-1, Lecrae and Hurricane Chris.
Lecrae said on social media that he was praying for Lil Nas.
"OK, I gotta admit, Lil Nas is playing with fire mocking Jesus," he said.
"[H] e's getting the attention he wants from folks at the risk of searing his [conscience]. Still, if God can transform King Neb, [murderers], slave masters, sex workers, etc., he can add another blasphemer to the list."
He added, "I've definitely mocked God in my pre-Christian days, and I'm grateful He ain't give me what I deserved [sic]."
Responding to the backlash, Lil Nas admitted he had "messed up really bad this time" but also insisted that he "didn't mean to ... mock".
He apologised specifically for his depiction of the Last Supper.
"I did not mean it as a cannibalism thing or whatever the freak, but I do apologize for that. I will say I am sorry for that. That was overboard. Though I don't agree with all of Christianity's rules or what not. I know not everybody follows Christianity by the book 100% or the world would be a lot crazier. But I do apologize for that," he said.
The 24 year old also insisted he was not a bad guy and that the backlash had affected him.
"I know I messed up really bad this time," he said.
"I can act unbothered all I want, but it's definitely taken a mental toll on me. I'm not some evil demon guy trying to destroy everybody's values and stuff like that. That's not me."