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A Hell of a Week for Lil Nas X

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Written by Zach Dalton

  Rapper Lil Nas X released his newest single, “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)” on March 26th. The film Call Me by Your Name, a coming-of-age story about a young man and his summer relationship with an older guy, inspired the single. This song is a symbol of Lil Nas X’s sexuality and his journey to coming out. As of publication, this song is going on its second week of being number 1 on Billboard. However, since the single’s release, Lil Nas has been getting a lot of attention, both good and bad. 

Now, for those who have consistently read my pieces, you know, I tend to keep things on the lighter side and focus on trying to make jokes land rather than discuss the hypocrisy of the music industry, but there is a first time for everything. 

The song is not what is causing negative attention, but the accompanying video. There have been accounts, mostly on Twitter, of people tweeting at the rapper’s handle calling for him to remove the video and to be more careful about what he makes. Some have cited his other hit single, “Old Town Road” for being such a hit with kids that he may corrupt them with his video. Lil Nas responded by saying “Old Town Road” is about adultery and drinking, implying that it shouldn’t be a hit, proving that their problem is not the song; but the video. 

In the video, Lil Nas plays out a story of a character (the rapper plays every character in the video) being condemned to Hell because he laid with another man. This is something some wings of religion have been preaching on for years and years… so why are they getting mad about him showing it? 

Maybe they take issue with his costuming in the video as he progressively reveals more and more. Near the end, he slides down a stripper pole in nothing but a pair of briefs and heels. At the end of the video where he gives a lap dance to Satan while singing a chorus. Perhaps this is where people find issue? Except there have plenty of other rappers featuring the moves being done by scantly clad women, and there does not seem to be equal outrage.

The final issue people discuss is him celebrating going to Hell or implying he is not afraid of going there. To that, I will simply say: “Highway to Hell,” “There’s a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends,” and “Everything Goes to Hell.” 

At the end of the day, Lil Nas X is an artist who has the right to make music and videos that are true to himself, and that is exactly what he did in “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name).” He should not be receiving the hate and negativity for expressing himself through his art.