Surely we have all seen the discontentment toward Lil Nas X’s latest music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”. Every person, spiritual or not, has jumped to social media to create a think piece surrounding his bizarre, yet thought-provoking visual. Maybe that’s what the young “Old Town Road” artist wanted all along. Fans are disappointed to see that the video showcases Lil Nas X sliding down a stripper pole to hell. While others argue, the 21-year-old rapper is expressing himself the way that he deems fit.
The visual released on last Friday, and it began to gain instant traction to the top of YouTube’s Trending chart. It has over 45 million views in less than a week. One of the stand-out moments within the video is a long-haired Lil Nas X sliding down a pole to hell, and soon after, giving Satan a lap dance before seamlessly snapping the devil’s neck and becoming the new leader of the underworld.
“Wanna give a shout out to all pole dancers. that sh*t is hard asf to do,” he tweeted humorously once the video dropped, “the back of my legs were literally bleeding on set lmao.”
Phrases like satanic panic began trending to social media the last couple of days, because of his choices to literally play with fire in the video.
There are also a pair of Nike Air maxes that allegedly each have a drop of human blood within the soles of the sneakers, which were released on National Air Max Day. Nike is now suing MSCHF, the app which partnered with Lil Nas X, over the satanic shoes claiming the company has nothing to do with its release.
Since Lil Nas X took the music industry by storm in 2018 with his viral sensation “Old Town Road,” he has been trolling fans and naysayers alike on Twitter. It is best to avoid out-trolling the generation that created it. Lil Nas X is amongst the generation that has adapted this social media etiquette from its inception and it’s honestly no looking back.
Even still, there are ministers across the United States creating their sermons around Lil Nas X’s latest release and spiritual social media users pushing content to dispel his sacrilegious behaviors.
The question is: Is Lil Nas X a saint or sinner for using his platform to push the creative boundaries set by certain religious practices? Did he go too far with his message?
People are really upset at the young artist because he consciously knows his demographic is comprised of young kids and teenagers who fell in love with the country, nursery rhyme-like “Old Town Road” song. He spoke to NPR’s KLCC about his children’s book C Is For Country, saying that children are his core audience right now and that’s ok.
Last spring, Lil Nas X made an appearance on The Not-Too-Late Show, singing the theme along with its host, Elmo. He also did a virtual performance on the online video game platform Roblox before the holidays, similar to the Travis Scott Fortnite concert in April. Roblox has a huge younger audience, over half its users are under 13, and Lil Nas X’s concert drew in over 30 million visits alone.
Nonetheless, the question remains whether or not Lil Nas X has an obligation to limiting his creativity for the sake of potential children’s viewership. Lil Nas X, an appropriately aged artist, finds comfort in expressing himself and his ideologies through music and visual art forms like the “Montero” video so who are the so-called “Christian” believers to judge? It feels a bit self-righteous, when by biblical ideals, no one should judge but the God whom Christians believe in.
The video and all of its’ controversy evidently did what needed to be done. It has had the fastest ascension in YouTube video history and the song is challenging for a No. 1 spot on next week’s Hot 100.
One thing’s for sure, Lil Nas X knows how to stir up the timeline. He seems completely unbothered by the timeline crumbling before our eyes.
Watch the full video for Montero (Call Me By Your Name) below.