Lil Nas X creatives innovative music

‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ proves thoughtful critique

Fair use from Columbia Records.

Fair use from Columbia Records.

Ben Sanford

When I first heard Lil Nas X’s new song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” I didn’t think much of it. It had a catchy beat and a melody that gets stuck in your head, but it didn’t seem all that different from a lot of the music being released today. However, only after seeing the music video alongside the song did I understand Lil Nas X’s genius.

The entire video is centered around Nas’ experience with his queerness, and how he has been victimized emotionally and mentally by the Christian Church and himself. The bright colors and flashy costumes bring the viewer into an entirely new world, while simultaneously exploring very harsh realities of the world we live in. 

Striking and nuanced visuals throughout the video, like being stoned by different versions of himself and killing Satan drive Nas’ message of liberation home. The video delves into the way he has been treated by many Christians, being told he was going to hell for being gay, and other things along that line. Instead of letting that fear control him, Nas accepts his fate and turns it into a positive thing, freeing himself of the anxiety and shame he previously held.

The controversy surrounding the song and its video only emphasizes the point Lil Nas X was trying to make. With people bombarding Nas with religious-based hate, calling him a Satanist and telling him that he’s engaging in sin proves Lil Nas X’s point — that no matter what he does, he’ll be vilified by the church. If the queer community tries to be a part of the church, they are often shunned because of their sexuality, but when they liberate themselves and embrace the reality that they might go to hell, they are ridiculed. The genius of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” is that the song is almost a reaction to the critique he knew he was going to face after its release.

Not only did Lil Nas X create an enjoyable song with “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” but also a creative and groundbreaking music video, something I would call a masterpiece.

“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”: ★★★★★