Bailey McKeon ’22
Lil Nas X released his highly anticipated album, MONTERO, just about a month ago. Reaching #2 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200, MONTERO has been well received by fans and critics alike, despite the controversy surrounding Lil Nas X’s discussion and depictions of homosexuality within the album.
Aside from the beautiful album cover, MONTERO contains 15 tracks, four of which were singles released by Lil Nas X prior to the release of his album. The lead track of the album, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” was released back in March of 2021 and topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Lil Nas X has been in the spotlight after dropping the music video accompanying the captivating song. Other catchy singles supporting the album are “SUN GOES DOWN,” “INDUSTRY BABY,” and “THAT’S WHAT I WANT.”
The pop rap record features appearances from Jack Harlow, Doja Cat, Elton John, Megan Thee Stallion, and Miley Cyrus. Inspired by Megan Thee Stallion’s verse on his song “DOLLA SIGN SLIME,” Lil Nas X promoted his work with fake pregnancy photos, setting up a “baby registry” to gather donations for LGBT charities.
His bold exploration of homosexuality in the album is accompanied by assertive leaps from pop to rap. Rich with catchy tunes, MONTERO puts Lil Nas X’s sexuality front and center, and is likewise considered by Variety to “give voice to the fears and longings of a generation of queer kids.” Variety notes that MONTERO centrally focuses on the loneliness of growing up gay and features reference to Lil Nas X’s own journey of self-acceptance. Appropriately, MONTERO happens to be Lil Nas X’s birth name.
Clash Magazine considers the album to be “one of 2021’s most daring, riveting, and honest pop statement[s].” Bill Delongis, of the Trinity College Strength and Conditioning Center, admits MONTERO was simply “the best playlist I’ve ever heard.”