Lil Nas X Releases A New Single
“MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X is out now. The new single and music video arrived after a long period of hype, which started last summer when Lil Nas X released a snippet of the song on his social media.
In the midst of the teasers and memes the rapper/singer is known for putting out for his music, he also released a serious statement addressed to his younger self.
Dear 14 year old Montero,
I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promise to never 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 will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist. You see this is very scary for me. People will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the f–k out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future.
Although the song’s title has Lil Nas X’s birthname, Montero, in it, he never actually says it, nor the other man’s name. The title is a reference to the 2017 film Call Me By Your Name. Due to legal reasons, Lil Nas X denied any connections to the film in an interview back in January.
Some Hell-ish Controversy
More pressingly, true to what Lil Nas X predicted, the song is getting targeted by homophobic vitriol. Those against the song are saying things like “it’s the work of Satan” and that Lil Nas X wants to “corrupt kids.” The only real adult content in the song is that he discusses drug and alcohol use, but it is clear in his lyrics that he is against abusing these substances.
The satanic messaging controversy is a tradition of the homophobic protest angle, but these attacks are intensified by the fact that the music video is explicitly gay from the start. Also, towards the end, the rapper descends into Hell via pole dancing in order to seduce Satan and take his throne. This would probably create controversy no matter an artist’s sexuality, gender, or race, but being that Lil Nas X is an openly gay Black man, he’s getting the heat times three.
Shortly following the release of the song, Lil Nas X teamed up with Youtuber Zach Campbell for a reaction video. The rapper addressed the controversy that the music video is getting. He also discussed its design, costuming, and the pole dance training he had to do. He also announced more singles are on the way, as well as a new album arriving this summer.