Though he has been teasing the single for weeks, when Lil Nas X’s millions of social media followers woke up to the release of his song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and its accompanying music video, they likely were not expecting the visuals to depict the rapper dancing down a stripper pole to hell, where he lands in the lap of the devil.
The song and music video have been praised for their bold depiction of queerness. The musician has confirmed that the song’s title, though seemingly a reference to the film of the same name, is not an allusion (possibly due to legal reasons), but he has confirmed the content of the song to be explicitly about his relationship with another man. The visuals depicting Lil Nas X and his doppelgängers in a biblical garden ends with him lap-dancing for Satan. It might evoke ire in some, but his fans love it—and he has a good reason for representing himself as descending all the way to hell after giving into queer desires.
Born Montero Lamar Hill, the musician skyrocketed to superstardom after releasing his viral hit “Old Town Road.” He came out as gay in the summer of 2019, has openly discussed his decision to come out at the height of his fame, and even revealed in an interview with Gayle King that he used to hope his sexuality was just a phase when he was younger.
Nearly two years later, after the release of “Montero,” Lil Nas X has addressed his 14-year-old self. “I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer,” he said. “I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”
“You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda,” he went on. “But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the fuck out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future.”