Overnight, Lil Nas X released a wild new video and his debut album, “Montero.”
It’s Lil Nas X’s universe, and we’re just passing through.
With his boundary-pushing performances, style, and statements, the 22-year-old rapper-singer has been shaking up the culture, stirring up controversy, and starting up a conversation — all over social media and beyond — since seemingly appearing out of nowhere to dominate the pop charts with his record-setting “Old Town Road” in 2019.
All of this was accomplished by Lil Nas X, who was already a real homosexual legend and pop provocateur, before his debut album,” Montero” was released on Friday.
It’s hard to imagine, but this is LNX’s first genuine album, following his 2019 “7” EP — which, despite its length, earned him a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.
Since dropping overnight, his new album video, “That’s What I Want,” has racked up nearly 2.5 million viral video views.
The video offers a heady combination of football, youthful love, (safe) shower sex, a “Brokeback Mountain” camping trip, betrayal, boozing, and, yes, his now-famous wedding gown.
The breakdown chorus, amidst all the craziness, is built around the heartfelt phrase, “I want — someone to love me.” I want — someone who needs me,” she sings over a beat reminiscent of Outkast’s “Hey Ya.”
The album’s title is derived from Lil Nas X’s true name, Montero Lamar Hill, and the flamenco-flavored hit “Montero (Call Be Your Name),” which reached No. 1 earlier this year.
Then came another smash, “Industry Baby,” which featured another young rapper, Jack Harlow.
Lil Nas X has gathered some major star power, judging by the other A-list guests on “Montero.” Miley Cyrus (who also has a new video
for their duet, “Am I Dreaming”), Megan Thee Stallion (“Dolla Sign Slime”), Doja Cat (“Scoop”), and even the great Elton John (“One of
Me”) attend his coming-out celebration.
And impatient fans have been waiting for Lil Nas X — who has been striking a pregnant stance in the promotional campaign in a gender-
bending twist — to ultimately give birth to “Montero” (which features a nude Nas on its cover).
“Lil Nas X is carrying extremely low, so I guess it’s a boy,” one admirer tweeted.
In the meantime, another admirer teased that “all that’s
going to play in my car is this CD right here IT WILL BE THE ONLY THING.”
@LilNasX #LilNasXGivesBirth I’m head over heels in love, and I haven’t even heard everything.”
That’s a lot of love for a musician who hasn’t even released his debut album yet.
But Lil Nas X has been defying the odds since combining hip-hop with the country — and Miley Cyrus’ father, Billy Ray Cyrus — on “Old Town Road,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-setting 19 weeks.
And, despite being a part of the infamously homophobic hip-hop culture, Lil Nas X did something even bolder by coming out in June 2019 — during Gay Pride Month — despite being a part of the “Old Town Road” craze.
LNX has been taking bigger risks this year, releasing his “Satan Shoes” in March, a custom pair of black-and-red Nikes with a drop of actual human blood inside.
He also made headlines for his video for “Montero (Call Me Your Name),” in which he rode a pole down to hell and danced on Satan’s lap.
On the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” in May, Lil Nas X continued to turn up the homoerotic heat, however, a wardrobe mishap prevented him from going full “Hustlers” on everyone.
In his “Industry Baby” video, he stripped down from a pink jail jumpsuit to his birthday suit.
Lil Nas X was undeniably one of the highlights of last Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, delivering a medley of “Industry Baby” and
“Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” the latter of which rightly received the top Moon Person for Video of the Year.
But, despite his success, LNX was back on the red carpet of the Met Gala Monday night, turning eyeballs — and opening minds — with
three different outfits that found him continuing to defy the conventional standards of male pop-star sexuality and masculinity.
It may have all started with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” but it’s led to a new pop order.