Lil Nas X Embraces Himself with “Montero”

Daniel Garrison, Staff Writer

Lil Nas X made headlines for his controversial song “Montero (Call be By Your Name),” and the accompanying music video for their use of both biblical and satanic imagery.  The song currently has over 100 million streams and has caused quite the debate.

The song is a far cry from “Old Town Road,” “Rodeo,” “Panini” or anything else in Lil Nas X’s discography. He described it as his “most powerful song yet,” and that is an understatement. The song’s graphicness shows that he has overcome the fear he used to have about being outwardly LGBT.

Even the song’s name “Montero”, which is Lil Nas X’s real name, illustrates that this song is different from the rest. It’s more than a song: it’s his story.

The song’s lyrics continue the display of newfound confidence by getting increasingly graphic from beginning to end. The first verse on the song features lines such as “I caught it bad yesterday/ You hit me with a call to your place/ Ain’t been out in a while anyway/ Was hoping I could catch you throwing  smiles in my face.” In stark contrast, the second verse talks about explicit sexual acts Lil Nas X wants to do to an unnamed lover.

Another message of the song is an increasing desperation for this lover. The last lines of the song are “Tell me you love me in private/ Call me by your name/I do not care if you lyin’.” Symbolizing  Lil Nas X’s willingness to do anything be together with him.

The two messages combine in an interesting way, in one aspect Lil Nas X showed more confidence than he ever has; in the other, he shows complete vulnerability, tied together by the graphic imagery.

The video gets more graphic from beginning to end, starting with a scene in the garden of Eden, which accompanies a lyric in the chorus reading “If Eve ain’t in your garden you know, that you can call me when you want…” The video then shows Lil Nas X as a prisoner in some sort of colosseum.

After that, Lil Nas X ascends towards Heaven, before falling to Hell on a stripper pole and grinding on the devil himself. The video ends with Lil Nas X snapping the devil’s neck and putting on the horns, thus becoming Satan.

The video typified Lil Nas X’s desire to be controversial in a way personal to him. He embraced Hell as imagery to show that he overcame his struggle with fear and religion, knowing that it would get attention. He intentionally used controversy to spread the message to those who could relate to him.

All in all, the song is catchy (almost too catchy, these aren’t the kind of lyrics I would want to be caught humming), and the song serves its purpose well.   The chorus is fun and memorable, but the whole thing may be a little much.