Lil Nas X released the second single from his upcoming album, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, March 26 alongside a flagrantly queer music video.
The video begins with a voiceover spoken by Lil Nas X: “In life, we hide the parts of ourselves we don’t want the world to see. We lock them away. We tell them, ‘No.’ We banish them. But here, we don’t.”
The video, co-directed by Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino, takes us to a world called Montero, where Lil Nas X takes part in a Christian-styled story where the snake tempts him to divulge in queer activities. The song itself hypes up a queer relationship, as Lil Nas X wants to get involved with another man. The video also seems to be making fun of common anti-queer rhetoric that is still very prominent today. Lil Nas X goes through a Marie Antionette-style stoning, slides down a pole into hell and gives the devil a lap dance.
The name of the song and the world is taken from Lil Nas X’s real name, Montero Hill, and is heavily inspired by his own experiences. Shortly after releasing the song and video, Lil Nas X released a letter to his 14-year-old self on Twitter.
“I know we promised never to come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this [song] will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” Lil Nas X wrote.
There is a lot going on in “Montero’s” video. It had a lot of eye-catching moments that still related to the song. It played on the old “gays are going to hell” saying in every possible way, from having Lil Nas X stripping down a pole into hell to him being hit with a butt plug at his stoning. The video shows more of Lil Nas X’s creative side than we were previously shown with the video for “Holiday”, even as it got dark towards the end. It was a “whoa” moment from beginning to end.
Just like I said in my “Holiday” review, though, “Montero” is another Lil Nas X song where the visual is more powerful than the music. Not saying the song is bad at all, but it’s just that the song is just less groundbreaking than the visuals. The song itself is very cute with the potential of being a great hit.
However, I still want to hear something more notable from Lil Nas X. With his creativity skills, I can definitely see this being his “Teenage Dream” Katy Perry era, but he needs a song to pull it together. Maybe his “Bad Romance” song will take him to the next level of musicality and video iconography.
Still, the song and video are huge for queer people, and for black queer people especiallly. “Montero’s” success is pushing the community to new heights and allowing them areas they were previously left out of. Hopefully, this could be history in the making. I just hope that, when his debut album comes out this summer, I will receive the powerhouse song and video combination that I have been looking for.