It seemed as if Lil Nas X was pregnant with this single, as it took him 9 months since its announcement for him to actually release it. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” is this star's newest song, striking much controversy.
After blowing up with track “Old Town Road,” and later releasing debut EP “7” in June of 2019, this young artist came out as gay, a huge act of bravery, especially for someone in the hip-hop/rap side of the music industry.
Montero is the singer’s real first name, and naming this new track after himself demonstrates further that he is showing his true colors and fully opening up his own world. It is also titled “Call Me By Your Name,“ after the gay romance film with the running theme “call me by your name and i’ll call you by mine.” Since in this case, Montero is Lil Nas X’s name, the title is actually directed towards the other person, something he talks about in the Genius video explaining the lyrics of the track.
Lil Nas X did not hold back from being himself with this release, from the lyrics to the wild music video. In an Instagram post written to his 14-year-old self, he talked about the fact that he never felt he would be able to come out, but that this scary decision will pave the way for other queer people to feel empowered enough to be themselves unapologetically as well.
“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: Welcome to Montero.” The song seems to be about a love affair with a guy who is in the closet, not being true to who he is. The video’s intro states that in Lil Nas X’s world, you do not have to hide any part of yourself.
“Cocaine and drinkin' with your friends / You live in the dark, boy, I cannot pretend / I'm not phased, only here to sin / If Eve ain't in your garden, you know that you can / Call me when you want, Call me when you need.”
However, Lil Nas X made many plays on religion in the visual for the track, using Eve and the tree of life as metaphors and giving Satan a lap dance in Hell. These actions were something that many people found offensive, or simply not appropriate for children. So, there has now been tons of debate about Lil Nas X’s use of his clear creativity and talent.
Regardless, this was just a greater demonstration that he will not hide who is no matter what the haters say. I feel that this video showed how Lil Nas X is unique from anyone else in the music industry today, with his ability to mix genres and his eccentric style, he will continue to succeed.
The video was #1 trending with over 7 million views on YouTube in less than a day, and the single skyrocketed to top of the charts on all platforms. So, the anger from politicians and Christians and parents who feel it’s the artist’s job to censor what their children see and hear, has just gained the artist more attention and well-deserved recognition.
On the other side, Lil Nas X is gaining tons of support and praise for not shying away from being true to himself, and he is personally trying to make light and humor out of the mockery.
While the song is definitely too short and we had to wait far too long, I am super proud of Lil Nas X for continuing to show growth both as a musician and an individual. MONTERO the album is supposed to be coming out in the summer of this year, and all of his fans are waiting in anticipation for even more surprises and shining talent.
I give this release 4.5 out of 5 Swoops.