Love him or hate him- still an obsession. Lil Nas X has been sending both sides of the political spectrum in a tailspin due to his latest single, “Montero”. His debut song “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus was a commercial success of epic proportions. The song wasn’t just big… it’s actually THE BIGGEST. Quite literally, the Most Certified Song in Recorded Music History, a causal x14 Diamond. He was thrust into an almost singular experience of overnight success not only at a young age but at his first try.
Despite his initial success, he entered the music game with many odds stacked against him. He was a 19-year old black man wanting to pursue country music, and if that wasn’t enough he was holding another secret that just might be the nail in the coffin. He’s gay too.
Lil Nas X faced the pressure of choosing to be himself or risk losing it all when he had barely gotten started. He made the decision to come out as openly gay, and from then on we saw a shift not only in his music, but his style, social media, and overall well-being. “Old Town Road” was a wholesome hit that could be played anywhere from the clubs, to weddings, even a kindergarten birthday party. “Montero”… not so much.
Our king of controversy and self-proclaimed “troll” took things to a level never attempted by any artist before him. “Montero”, a self-named track, (born Montero Lamar Hill) serves us shock, aesthetic, allegory, and metaphors. Not to mention, it’s catchy as hell. Reeling in over 95 MILLION views in its first week alone, it’s safe to say it has been a long time since a music video got people talking like this one.
On the surface level, and maybe from the more conservative perspective, you see a gay man riding a striper pole to Hell and giving Satan a lap dance. I get it- it’s edgy stuff, it shocked me too! But when you do a deeper dive you realize it’s really all a bigger metaphor for his experience growing up gay and black. An important message for so many to not only hear, but try to understand.
If the numbers alone don’t impress you, then maybe this video will. I was blown away by this young man’s sheer courage. His ability to manifest, goal set, visualize, and speak things into existence. Say what you will, but the kids got more guts than most of us ever will. Performing a gay rap anthem in full drag and it not only being well received but going all the way to number one is proof that our world is changing, and that he is doing important work.
I for one cannot wait to watch the evoloution of his music for years to come. He’s clearly paving his own path, even if that means taking the stripper pole less traveled.