From the choice of his name to his meteoric rise to power, Lil Nas X has taken the Old Town Road less traveled to prominence, daring to shine a spotlight not only on the talent of queer artists but queer representation in music and societal factions.
Taking full advantage of the art of trolling, the Georgia rapper and singer-songwriter is somewhat of a marketing genius, making extravagant waves of controversy, comedy and pushing the limits of being as polarizing as possible in the lead-up to his debut body of work MONTERO.
From infamous devil lap dances and Satan shoe sagas, to naked shower choreography and his recent album trailer that has caught flack for likening his album release to literal childbirth, nothing is off-limits.
His theatrical performances, conceptualization, and influence has threatened patriarchal superstructures to their core. Everyone from beloved Illuminati conspiracy theorists to homophobic alpha males have had their say about Lil Nas X’s “gay agenda” cultivating critical conversations on social media platforms.
Born Montero Lamar Hill, naming his debut album after himself gave us a glimpse into the human behind the persona Lil Nas X has become. Songs like “One of Me (feat. Elton John)” and “Lost in The Citadel” and “Am I Dreaming (feat. Miley Cyrus)” brought us closer to his vulnerabilities and his fears he walled us off from knowing for so long.
Intentionality, effort, creative direction, and a new age blueprint for album rollouts, all come to the fold through expensive album visualizers that one could easily mistake for music videos of their own. Narrative-altering content is undoubtedly the hill Lil Nas X is willing to die on.
Gliding through up-tempo 808s and vibrant trap music to country aesthetic for one’s heart to bleed, MONTERO gives us a glimpse as to who Lil Nas X really is, as his fear, ambitions, satire, and desires come together to paint a picture of the young man behind the music.